Giannis Antetokounmpo, 22 is just starting his fifth NBA season with the Milwaukee Bucks and he is considered a real MVP candidate. The way he plays, he has improved, become even better in posting up and finishing at the rim, while his mentality to win and work hard to go along with his team also improving, will make Giannis finish in the Top-3 in MVP voting this year. FadeAway World brings you the best five reasons as to why Giannis has a legit chance at winning the MVP trophy this year and certainly being in the running.
Ultimate Skill-Set and Hard-Work
Antetokounmpo is just 22-years old and is considered one of the top-10 players in the world. Recently Kevin Durant talked about Giannis’ his unique talent and skills and said: “I like him, he is my favorite player to watch, he has the chance of becoming the greatest player EVER.” Durant seems to really believe in the 22-year old and the way he has been playing but also his mindset and personality.
Moreover, Giannis is a hard-worker and listens to other experienced players, and teammates as he wants to learn and improve on his game. This off-season, Kobe Bryant challenged him to win the MVP award and against Boston, on opening night he certainly did play like an MVP. Even though he could not compete in this year’s EuroBasket he seems to have worked on his game, his mid-range shooting as well as his body and free-throw shooting and has a goal which is to become better every day as he has mentioned multiple times. He wants to lead this team to the playoffs, the second round and under coach Kidd’s system, everything will go through Giannis, who will facilitate the offense and create plays.
Even though he could not compete in this year’s EuroBasket he seems to have worked on his game, his mid-range shooting as well as his body and free-throw shooting and has a goal which is to become better every day as he has mentioned multiple times. He wants to lead this team to the playoffs, the second round and under coach Kidd’s system, everything will go through Giannis, who will facilitate the offense and create plays.
Opening Night’s STATEMENT Performance
The ‘Greek Freak’ had an incredible debut game this season on the road vs the Boston Celtics. His freakish athleticism, dunking skills, the way he attacks the paint, can finish with either hand through contact but also dunk all over defenders make him a rare and special player. Giannis finished the game with 37 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 59.1% from the field and making nine of his eleven free-throws.
Despite having two fouls in the first quarter, Giannis sat the late first quarter and an early second quarter so he could get a third foul and end up on the bench the whole half. But, even then, he used his incredible skills and talent to score 16 points in the fourth quarter, play stellar defense and attack the basket to secure this road win in Boston.
The 22-year old forward has another important and significant feature in his game and that is his defensive skills. With his unreal length, wingspan and speed, Giannis can lock down opponents, get in the passing lanes but also make good blocks that may lead his team to the transition. He loves playing defense, knows how important it is to win basketball games and this year he has a plan of becoming one of the best two-way players in basketball. He has grown a lot this summer, working on his body, and his game. His defensive appearance will give the Bucks things to work for, as he will steal, block shots, lock down opponents and stay with the opponent.
The Bucks Finishing In The Top-4
Despite being almost the same team as last year, the Bucks are getting better, and are ready to make that jump and be a top-3 team in the East. The Eastern Conference is a lot weaker than it was and except the Cavaliers, every other team from the Wizards, Raptors, Bucks, Heat and Celtics will be fighting for the 2-5 spots. Giannis’ versatility, the way he has matured, his leadership skills, to go along with his incredible talent and the way the team is built around him, will give the Bucks many opportunities of finishing in the top-4.
Coach Jayson Kidd and his coaching staff will help the other young players, like Thon Makers, Jabari Parker of taking that extra step this season and helping the team win basketball games. Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon will also play an important role in the team’s success this season. Last year they were eliminated in Game 6 from the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, but this year their goal is to reach the second round of the playoffs and take it from here. They are a team with a young core, a young good coach who knows the game of basketball as good as anyone, and a super-star in the ‘Greek Freak’. This could be the year, the Bucks are suddenly contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Giannis’ Incredible Opening WEEK
In the three games Giannis Antetokounmpo played in he was simply phenomenal, a real MVP candidate who could win it this season. The Bucks are 2-1 with Giannis averaging, 38.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists while shooting an unreal 67.2% from the field. If he continues to play like that, the Bucks are in for a treat this season and will be one really successful season for them. The Greek forward is already an MVP candidate this season, the question is will he stay consistent, can he improve his shooting, and how will the Bucks be this season.