Hello, and welcome to “Giannis Watch.” In this recurring post, we will keep tabs on Milwaukee Bucks rookie, Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Yes, I can now spell his full name without looking it up. #FLEX)
When I first heard that name this summer in the lead up to the draft, I was immediately intrigued. I’m not a huge prospects/draft guy, but a few weeks before the draft I check out a good number of the top prospects so I at least have a general idea of what’s going on. Every time I looked through the mock drafts and Draft Express scouting reports, I kept coming back to that name.
After I had read everything I could find and watched this video a couple of times, I was hooked. Projected to go in the middle of the first round, I immediately wanted the Boston Celtics to select him. Ultimately, however, the Celtics went with Kelly Olynyk (I was initially disappointed, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far from Olynyk.). Giannis ended up going at number 15 to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Initially speculation was that he was destined to be a “stash pick” – someone who stays in Europe for a few years until they’re ready to come over – but the 18-year-old from Greece was adamant on coming straight to the NBA. I was thrilled, and couldn’t wait to watch him take on NBA competition.
After seeing this preseason highlight video and reading about his life in Greece, I was even more excited. He has quickly become one of my favorite players in the league, even though last night was just his first NBA game.
In “Giannis Watch,” we will keep up with Giannis and his development during his rookie season. It may be a post after every game, it may be a post every week – that is still to be determined, and ultimately will probably depend on how much he plays – but there will be regular updates on our favorite Milwaukee Buck. (Sorry LARRY SANDERS!)
So how about last night? The Bucks traveled to New York to take on the Knicks in the first game for each team. Unfortunately, Giannis only played 5 minutes, as the Bucks lost handily, 90-83, in a game that wasn’t as close as the scoreboard portrays.
Check out a bit of video of Giannis below.
Late in the first quarter, he was able to get out on the break, but was fouled by Iman Shumpert before he could get a shot up. He connected on one of two free throws, for his only point of the night.
It will definitely take time for Giannis to adjust to the talent and physicality level of the NBA, but I’m excited to watch his journey.
Be sure to stay tuned to Saving the Skyhook for the next episode of “Giannis Watch.”