The NBA has put forth their 2019-20 season restart to determine their champion with a 22-team format in the Orlando Bubble. That has presented the players with new challenges from the situation. These are things that Milwaukee Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo notices with his new temporary surroundings.
Giannis Antetekounmpo’s strong 2019-20 season
Giannis Antetokoumpo entered the 2019-20 season with massive expectations after earning his first MVP award.
The 25-year-old met that with continued dominant play as he continues to prove to be among the league’s best talents. Antetokounmpo ranks third with 29.6 points and 13.7 rebounds while shooting 54.7% from the floor despite playing 30.9 minutes per game. If he can push his numbers to 30.0 points per contest, it would make him just the sixth player ever to average 30.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in a season.
Antetokounmpo has garnered tremendous confidence in his game but sees one significant challenge in playing in the Orlando Bubble for the season restart.
Giannis Antetokounmpo sees huge challenges ahead for 2020 title
The NBA has taken an incredible unique path back to getting the 2019-20 season back underway during the pandemic.
It has seen the league take the road of a bubble location at Disney World in Orlando with strict health guidelines. With that in mind, Giannis Antetokounmpo believes that the sealed off site for the players will challenge them mentally unlike ever before. (H/T CBS Sports)
“I think the game is gonna be played mentally a lot. Not being able to see your family, being there for three months, playing games with no fans, it’s going to be mental. Like you gotta push yourself through this. But I’ve heard a lot of people say that there’s gonna be — how do you guys say this — the star next to this championship.
I feel like at the end of the day this is gonna be the toughest championship you could ever win. Because the circumstances are really, really tough right now. Whoever wants it more is gonna go out there and take it.”
Teams could be in the bubble situation for up to three months if they make a deep run through the playoffs. That would mean that players would be away physically from their families. It requires an even more significant commitment mentally to grind through being away from their personal living situations for quite some time.
There has never been a situation where players and coaches have had to remain in one location for an extended period. Although the games are being played on the basketball court, it’s a mental hurdle players will have to work their way past to reach that ultimate goal.
Bucks’ title chances
The bubble situation in Orlando has put the 22 teams in the season on even playing field in that regard.
However, the Bucks have been pegged as one of the top favorites to win the NBA title. Milwaukee proved to be one of the most talented teams behind their balanced play on both ends of the floor. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the driving force, but they are the highest-scoring squad and are among the most effective defensively.
Milwaukee is in the driver’s seat to secure the top overall record in the league, but they do have tough challengers in the Eastern Conference. The Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Toronto Raptors could all pose fierce threats. It may come down to Antetokounmpo being the x-factor to lift the franchise to their first NBA Finals since 1974.