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Thanasis Antetokounmpo doesn’t get much playing time with the Milwaukee Bucks, but his presence is certainly felt. While his brother Giannis Antetokounmpo gets all the headlines and attention, Thanasis is his biggest cheerleader. In fact, he’s the Bucks’ biggest cheerleader.

Every team needs a Thanasis — a high-energy guy who wants to do nothing but win. Giannis is the more talented of the Antetokounmpos, but Thanasis clearly has him beat in the enthusiasm department.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo has impressed in limited action

Thanasis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts after his brother Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks a ball during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on May 1, 2022, in Boston, Massachusetts. | Adam Glanzman/Getty Images.

It was Thanasis’ time to shine during a late-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bucks rested their regulars in the season finale, giving the “other” Antetokounmpo a chance to show what he can do.

He impressed.

In 41 minutes against a playoff-bound Cavs team, Thanasis filled the stat sheet. He scored 27 points on 9-for-14 shooting. The 6-foot-6 forward added five rebounds, two assists, and a block. He went 8-for-10 from the free-throw line.

In Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls, Thanasis saw action in Milwaukee’s 111-81 victory. He had a highlight-reel dunk over Bulls forward Patrick Williams, igniting a spark from his brother and the rest of the Bucks on the bench.

“Obviously I’m not looking at who’s in front of me, I’m looking at finishing at the rim,” Antetokounmpo said after the game, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “So, whenever I can have this one way I’m going with force to the basket. I’m going to try to go with force. I’m not trying to lay up, I’m trying to go with force and finish because it’s good for morale, it’s good for me, to get some rhythm.

“I just try to get to the rim, just try to finish.”

Thanasis Antetokounmpo leads the league in energy

In that Bulls game, Thanasis got a taste of what it’s like being on the other end. Usually, he’s the one on the bench cheering on his teammates.

This time, it was the other way around. When he dunked over Williams, the reaction of his teammates was priceless. He appreciated their support. He knows when he gets the chance to see the court, there is only one way for him to play, and that’s going all-out.

“Oh my God, I love it,” he said of the support from teammates. “The guys are so supportive. That’s one thing, just playing with energy, playing with intensity.”

He’s the same way when he’s not on the court.

Thanasis, who is very close to his brother, doesn’t sit down. With every Bucks basket, there’s a fist-pump or some type of celebration coming from No. 43. Thanasis lives and dies with every play.

He brings the energy right when the team emerges from the locker room before the game, and it stays with him through the final buzzer.

The Bucks are in a great spot against the Boston Celtics

Heading into the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics, the Bulls appeared to be on shaky ground. Yes, they just won three straight against the Bulls to close out the series in five games, but the series was costly.

The Bucks, already playing without guard George Hill, lost Khris Middleton with an MCL injury in Game 2. He’s expected to miss the series with the Celtics. The Celtics were also red-hot coming into the series after sweeping the Brooklyn Nets.

Despite Middleton’s absence, the third-seeded Bucks stole homecourt advantage from the No. 2 Celtics. They dominated on defense and capitalized on poor Celtics shooting en route to a 101-89 win in the series opener.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Boston.

Thanasis watched his brother dominate Game 1 with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists in the victory. Unlike Thanasis, Giannis was quite calm when talking about the game. The Greek Freak said he kept things simple and his teammates were ready to help.

“I try to be as simple as possible,” Giannis said, per The New York Times. “My teammates were there, they were open and they were knocking down shots.”

And Thanasis was cheering on every one of them.


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