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DonRocks

Giannis Antetokounmpo (1994-), 6'11" Playmaker and Potential Future Superstar for the Milwaukee Bucks

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Selected in the 2013 NBA draft with the #15 pick in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo is a name you may not yet know, but may be forced to learn to spell and pronounce sometime in the near future. Born in Greece to Nigerian immigrant parents, Antetokounmpo is more commonly known by his American nickname, an embarrassing term which speaks more about Americans than him (you can find it easily on the internet; I refuse to go along with it even though it's more laziness than malice).

This is a very obscure statistic, and it's surely one that was made up to demonstrate what a complete season Antetokounmpo is having for Milwaukee, but this year, he could become the first player in NBA history to average (take a deep breath) ... 20 points-per-game, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Granted, that's a tailor-made statistic, but it *does* reflect what an all-around player this man is - he is the Bucks' *playmaker*, just as often playing point guard as small forward, and he's 6'11". 

Pundits are saying that Antetokounmpo is "Next" - and what they mean by that is: After the James's, Currys, etc. step down, who will fill their shoes? They're saying that Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to be in that group - remember him: You'll be glad you did.

"Add Buzzer-Beater to Antetokounmpo's Superstar Résumé" by Ohm Youngmisuk on espn.com

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21 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Antetokounmpo is more commonly known by his American nickname, an embarrassing term which speaks more about Americans than him (you can find it easily on the internet; I refuse to go along with it even though it's more laziness than malice).

I assume you're referring to the one that rhymes.  Some of us have been calling him Alphabet for several years instead.  Apart from how quickly he covers the court (there are plenty of YouTube videos showing him go end-to-end in like four steps), his hands are so big that he can hold the ball with a pinch grip instead of palming it.  Bill Simmons and others consider him to be the current NBA Unicorn.

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Having previously seen highlights of him I only just watched most of two games with him in the last 10 days, and in fact posted a video of his skills in the Wizards thread the other day

In the first game of a 2 game series The Greek Freak, or Giannis, simply demolished the Wiz.  Very tall, very mobile, he set a personal record for points.  Most of his baskets were right around the rim; he was too quick too mobile and at least in one case adequately strong that nobody on the Wiz could stop him.  Slightly taller than Milwaukee's starting center he is capable of playing back court.  He certainly has an eye for passing, but don't put him in the same league with the game's best distributors---Yet.  But I bet he'll get better and better at this as time goes on....and he starts off with "passing instincts"   so he can only improve with practice and games. 

Right now he can handle the ball, distribute, certainly play rim protecting defense, rebounds on both ends of the court, is an offensive force under the basket with his quickness and height, is tremendously athletic, covers ground on the fast break like nobody else, and is STILL in rapid improvement/development mode in all aspects of his game.  At his height and mobility he is a freak of nature and if he doesn't mind the nickname I don't mind using the Greek Freak to describe or name him.  I believe its used in awe and respect.  He is really good and could develop into a long term star if he is so inclined to continue to improve.

BTW:  In game 2 of that home and home series the Wiz worked incredibly hard, played much better defense and eked out a win at home....but boy it took a lot of effort and concentration.

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"Giannis Antetokokounmpo Was Shocked Bucks' Coach Jason Kidd Was a Good Player" on si.com

The first time Kidd benched him, Antetokounmpo was irate. “I was like, ‘Let’s see what this guy did in his career, anyway,’ ” Antetokounmpo recounts, and called up Kidd’s bio on his phone. “I saw Rookie of the Year, NBA championship, USA Olympic gold medal, second in assists, fifth in made threes, blah, blah, blah. I was like, ‘Jesus freaking Christ, how can I compete with that? I better zip it.’”

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Having already watched him twice this season, and being admittedly intrigued, I think he is either A or THE budding superstar of the near future.  If you are "into that sort of thing" he is worthwhile to watch. 

Virtually all of the greatest players have a uniqueness to their games.  They are virtually all somewhat different.  The only one I can think of, off the top of my head who was a very close carbon copy of a previous star was Kobe Bryant who modeled  and played a game remarkably like Michael Jordan.  Their physical size and attributes were similar.

Giannis is very unique.  Very long and lanky, he has enormous strides.  He was a guard in his earliest development and retains guard skills.  He can bring or blast the ball up court like few tall guys, and can distribute in a way that only a tiny number of tall guys have ever mastered.  The one tallish star that has similar dimensions is Kevin Durant, but Durant has no where's near the ball handling skills of Giannis.  OTOH Giannis has nowhere nears the outside shooting skills that Durant has.

Giannis can drive to the basket and maneuver around.  He is more mobile underneath than most big men.  Probably all big men.  He has a great ability to slide left right,  and with his length and mobility he can always get a shot off.  Virtually all of his shots are in close, he is shooting a lot and he is connecting a lot.  When driving he is a darn good passer/distributor which means you can't clog the interior as he'll hit an open shooter.  Despite his thin frame I've seen him ward off big strong centers and get off shots. 

Last year he was both the Most Improved Player in the league and made All NBA.  This year he is playing statistically better and dominating games.  His team, The Bucks, play around him.  He is the center of the offense and his team plays around him.  He also blocks shots and he seems to play pretty good attentive defense.

What he is doing that is so unique style wise is that he gets closer to the rim for more short shots than any other outside player (excepting Lebron) than has more ways to put the ball in the basket than anyone (including Lebron)

Back to Durant who has similar size attributes to Giannis.

Durant acknowledges the Greek Freak is longer, faster, more athletic, and will be stronger than Durant.  

If you want to see the next "big thing" in the NBA...watch Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Greek Freak.  Then tell your friends about him in 20 years.

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I agree.  That being said, the danger is that his game (as inside the paint as it is) will get him full contact from guys much bigger then he is & it'll happen many times/game over many games/season.  Other teams have a lot of fouls to give & there'll be a lot of uncalled contact as well.  Can his game be more than a 3-4 year run or will the battering take its toll?  We'll see -- after all, Kareem managed a long career.  I'd suggest that his team pay some real attention asap to the kind of supporting cast a guy like him needs.  A strong banger under the boards and a feared outside shooter he can kick it to wouldn't hurt.

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2 hours ago, Steve R. said:

I agree.  That being said, the danger is that his game (as inside the paint as it is) will get him full contact from guys much bigger then he is & it'll happen many times/game over many games/season.  Other teams have a lot of fouls to give & there'll be a lot of uncalled contact as well.  Can his game be more than a 3-4 year run or will the battering take its toll?  We'll see -- after all, Kareem managed a long career.  I'd suggest that his team pay some real attention asap to the kind of supporting cast a guy like him needs.  A strong banger under the boards and a feared outside shooter he can kick it to wouldn't hurt.

I saw him last season, became intrigued and have been watching him since.  His game is unique.  With quickness, good ball handling skills and an enormous stride he gets around defenders from the outside and gets in close to the basket in a way I’ve never seen.  Trying to think of someone like him and the only person I can come up with is Dr J at his best.  But Giannis is significantly taller with longer strides.  They are different.  He doesn’t bulldoze in he speeds up and glides by defenders.  

Once inside he has lateral moves so he creates distance between he and defenders.   @Steve R.  That might cut down on the inside banging- maybe- maybe a lot.

Last 3 games his team lost.  All because of fouls.  He sat a lot in 2 games and in the third the worst foul shooter in the game was great.

He doesn’t have a great supporting cast around him with other all stars as you note.  The centers are not bangers.  And the outside shooters— they could improve.   He sure as hell creates opportunities for wide open 3’s so a great outside shooter who can find the empty spaces would thrive.

He’s certainly a one of a kind player.  Nobody else plays like him.  

I hope he stays healthy

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On 11/4/2017 at 3:07 PM, DonRocks said:

No traveling call. <_<

NBA refs haven’t called traveling for years and years.  Lebron James is often singled out for having traveled on various drives.  Weirdly Carmelo Anthony once led the league in traveling violations.

Glad I’m not a ref.  Spoke with a friend of mine who reffed (for pay), had to study and train to get there, and was evaluated by whom ever it is that manages refs.  They watch the game “differently” so as to detect violations.  Regardless in the NBA they seem to miss traveling calls.  

It must be a policy call from up top.

EDIT:

After reading the travel rule and watching this repeatedly it looks legal.  By rule he gets two steps after the dribble.  And two he took.  Two monstrous space eating long striding fast paced w/ a little Euro style in them steps

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On 11/5/2017 at 8:03 AM, DaveO said:

EDIT:

After reading the travel rule and watching this repeatedly it looks legal.  By rule he gets two steps after the dribble.  And two he took.  Two monstrous space eating long striding fast paced w/ a little Euro style in them steps

He took four steps after the ball last hit the court. This is easily seen when you click on the first photo, and then scroll through them in order:

0) The ball leaves his hand for the final dribble while he's still behind half-court, and strikes the ground at the same time as his left foot: Screenshot 2017-11-09 at 12.40.41.png

1) After the ball hits the court, and is on the way back up, his right foot hits the ground: Screenshot 2017-11-09 at 12.41.51.png

1.5) He takes possession of the dribble, over 30 feet from the rim, while his right foot is still on the ground: Screenshot 2017-11-09 at 13.25.16.png

2) Then his left foot: Screenshot 2017-11-09 at 12.42.23.png

3) Then his right foot: Screenshot 2017-11-09 at 12.43.20.png

4) Then his left foot: Screenshot 2017-11-09 at 12.43.40.png

"Travel at the End of the Dribble, Player Takes 3 Steps after Gathering the Ball" on videorulebook.nba.com

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Oh lord.  Now I have to look at this again.  Before stating I thought it wasn't a travel I watched it multiple times.  Ugh.  Its why I despise looking at this stuff as a ref watches it.  Don't like watching it that way.

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1 hour ago, DaveO said:

Oh lord.  Now I have to look at this again.  Before stating I thought it wasn't a travel I watched it multiple times.  Ugh.  Its why I despise looking at this stuff as a ref watches it.  Don't like watching it that way.

It's not a big deal, it's impossible to see in real time, and either way it's extremely impressive.

The thing that bothers me more is the stutter-step, which is apparently unlimited between dribbles - as far as I know, a player can take five quick-steps in-between dribbles if he's trying to fake out his opponent.

Which brings up a question: What constitutes a dribble? If I get a defensive rebound under the opponents basket, and slam the ball down at the foul line, so it bounces forty feet in the air and travels the length of the court, while I take twenty steps running to the other basket, and then catch the ball before it bounces a second time, and make a layup ... is that a single dribble?

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I've watched and rewatched this video.  Giannis starts his  last dribble before he gets to half court.  He picks it up after crossing half court.  Does he or doesn't he take more than 2 steps?

I'm not sure.  Glad I'm not a ref.  I still enjoyed the play.  He ultimately did take 2 enormous steps at full or close to it speed.  Between ball handling, speed, and his enormous stride he is doing something I haven't seen before, and it appears its that combination that makes him so difficult to cover.

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Two years after this thread started and Giannis just participated in the NBA All Star game.  Along with LeBron James he was the top vote getter among fans; thus enabling him to captain  one team and choose the rest of his team against LeBron et al.  That little piece of TV was fun.

Giannis was high scorer of the game.  Currently his team has the best record in the NBA, the Bucks are first in the East, and realistically the difference between Giannis and the 2nd best Buck is pretty stunning.  In a league that is trying to build super teams with multiple stars the Milwaukee Bucks are Giannis and a cast of thousands.  He is that good. 

The current "scuttlebutt" is that the two prime candidates for NBA Most Valuable Player are Giannis and James Harden.  This season Giannis is that good.

The video below highlights some of his current play.  I find the Giannis/Kevin Durant match up fascinating.  Durant is physically like Giannis, but their games are different and Durant himself has said Giannis is a little taller a little more athletic.  Durant is a more accomplished outside shooter, and more developed as a basketball player: 

Giannis:   2018-2019 style:

 

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On 11/4/2017 at 11:02 AM, Steve R. said:

I agree.  That being said, the danger is that his game (as inside the paint as it is) will get him full contact from guys much bigger then he is & it'll happen many times/game over many games/season.  Other teams have a lot of fouls to give & there'll be a lot of uncalled contact as well.  Can his game be more than a 3-4 year run or will the battering take its toll?  We'll see -- after all, Kareem managed a long career.  I'd suggest that his team pay some real attention asap to the kind of supporting cast a guy like him needs.  A strong banger under the boards and a feared outside shooter he can kick it to wouldn't hurt.

@Steve R.

Did the Milwaukee Bucks pay you a consulting fee for your spot on advise?  

Come to think of it Dolan should be knocking on your door and if you would like to fully experience DC restaurants there is a position for you down here.

This year Giannis was arguably the best player in the NBA, his team had the best record, the team added a group of outside shooters including a center who pulls the big rim protectors from down low and Giannis increased his assault on the rim plus he is everywhere on defense.

I f Dolan doesn’t pay you the big bucks he should at least choose you as the Knick representative at the draft lottery

  • Haha 1

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6 hours ago, Steve R. said:

And yet they lost to Toronto??!

The Giannis we saw in earlier years is not the Giannis who had to get by 2,3, or 4 players.  It took a lot to expose his weaknesses.  

He did look surprised and without answers during some of those double/triple teams.

I thought Kawhi Leonard was better and Toronto moved the ball better than Milwaukee 

 

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