This Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks open their season against the revamped Boston Celtics. The Bucks have one of the best players in the league. Warriors forward, Kevin Durant, said, “The Greek Freak I think is a force, and I’ve never seen anything like him. And his ceiling is probably… he could end up being the best player to ever play if he really wanted to.” Giannis Antetokounmpo called by many “The Greek Freak”, is coming off a breakout season last year as he averaged a career high 22.9 points. He also won the NBA’s most improved player award. He is part of an impressive young core in Milwaukee that includes Jabari Parker and reigning rookie of the year, Malcolm Brogdon.
Antetokounmpo stands out because of his athleticism and long body. He was a good player before last year, however he seemed to finally put it all together last season. He did not only set a career high in points per game, but also in every other category, showing how much of a dynamic player he is. Giannis is only 22, and last year he became the first player to finish in the top 20 of all major stats. What made his season more impressive, was after the all star break, the young forwards stats dipped. Even though his averages dipped, Giannis still averaged 23 points a game while pulling down 9 rebounds and shooting 52% from the field. Those are still above average numbers and the Bucks will happily take them. The Greek Freak is not only valuable because of his playing ability, but his leadership. Last year Giannis become one of the best in the game, but he also grew as a leader.
When Giannis first helped the Bucks make the playoffs in 2013, he was a major contributor. Last year Giannis put the Buck’s on his back and lead them to the playoffs. At 22, he showed management that he could be a player the Bucks could build around for years to come. The Bucks have only won two titles in their history, and haven’t won one since 1974. They’ve been looking for someone who could change that and bring a tittle to the franchise. Giannis may be that player, and the Bucks have a young supporting cast around him that could thrive, but the key for this young core is staying healthy. Jabari Parker, who the Bucks drafted second overall in the 2014, has already dealt with numerous injuries. Parker is going into his fourth season in the NBA and has already torn the ACL in his left knee twice. Giannis has not had any major injuries, which is good for the Bucks, as he is not an easy player to replace.
The 2017-2018 season is big for the young star, as expectations will be even higher after his breakout campaign. If the Bucks are to make it to the playoffs and make a run, he is the key. If he can carry this team like he did last year, the Bucks will be fun to watch, and the legend of Giannis Antetokounmpo will continue to grow.