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Giannis Watch: Episode 3

It’s been a while since we checked in with our favorite Milwaukee Buck Giannis Antetokounmpo, but we’re back today with Episode 3 of Giannis Watch. (If you missed the previous episodes, you can check them out here.)

Nov 12, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

We last took a look at Giannis’ progress after the Bucks’ third game of the year against the Toronto Raptors. To that point, Giannis had played a few dozen minutes and scored a few baskets, but hadn’t really shown too much on either side of the ball.

Unfortunately, the momentum that Giannis seemed to be gaining – at least in terms of minutes played – came screeching to a halt when he registered a “DNP-Coach’s Decision” in each of the Bucks’ next two contests. The Bucks knocked off the Cavaliers and lost to the Mavericks in those two games.

But in the next four outings – thanks in part to injuries to be sure – Giannis got some solid run.

Against the Miami Heat – albeit a blowout loss – Giannis registered 21 minutes (a career-high), scoring 11 points (another career-high) and grabbing 4 rebounds.

In a match-up with the Orlando Magic – yet another loss, though at least closely contested – he got 19 minutes. He scored 6 points, secured 2 rebounds a added 2 steals.

Then in another blowout loss – this time at the hands of the Indiana Pacers – Giannis played 5 minutes, scoring 4 points and snatched 2 rebounds.

And last week, when the Bucks fell (the Bucks have lost a lot of games, as you can see) to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Coach Drew gave him 15 minutes, in which he scored just 2 points but grabbed a career-high 5 rebounds.

But just when it seemed Giannis had found a spot in the Bucks’ rotation, he got DNP-Coach’s Decision’d again. With the return of Ersan Ilyasova and Caron Butler to the lineup against the Portland Trail Blazers, there were no minutes to be had for young Giannis.

The Bucks knew going into this year that Giannis was going to be a project. If they weren’t so hampered by injury problems, he probably wouldn’t even have as many minutes as he does.

Offensively, he hasn’t really shown much. He tends spend a lot of time floating around the three-point line, waiting for quick outs. Though this isn’t really a bad thing, seeing as he’s 4-9 from behind the arc so far this year. He will make good cuts from time to time – especially on the baseline – but at least so far, it seems he prefers staying on the perimeter.

Below is a video of some of his triples from this year.

It will take a while for Giannis to feel comfortable in the league, but he has shown glimpses of his vast offensive potential.

Here, check out some of his best moments so far.

Sure, he misses the layup in the first clip, but go watch that spin move again. That was incredible. Then, we have the alley-oops. The third isn’t that crazy or special, but it does show the athleticism Giannis has. The second clip however – the one from the game against the Magic – that one is astonishing. Look again at just how high his hand is above the rim.

We know Giannis has the talent. We know Giannis has the athleticism and physical tools to be great. Now, it’s just a matter of time to see how he grows – both in his game and physically, as he’s only 18 – and adjusts to the NBA world.

Tonight, Giannis and the Bucks travel to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers. With the Bucks a little bit healthier now, it will be interesting to see if Giannis gets any run tonight.

Be sure to stay tuned to Saving the Skyhook, as we keep tabs on our favorite young Buck, Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

jmaloney