In case you haven’t heard, Giannis Antetokounmpo is on an absolute tear recently. This isn’t your run of the mill “scored 20 points in five straight games” tear, either; it’s one of all-around dominance, of a player beginning to realize his massive, almost unlimited potential.
Giannis has been racking up triple-doubles and near-triple-doubles at a rapid rate, dominating every aspect of the game. He’s been so good that, according to the Elias Sports Bureau and ESPN, he’s even put legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson to shame.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was one assist shy of another triple-double in the Bucks’ loss to the Raptors. Antetokounmpo has scored 242 points, grabbed 114 rebounds and handed out 104 assists over his last 12 games. No other player in Bucks history had that many points, rebounds and assists over a 12-game span, not even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Sidney Moncrief, Marques Johnson or Bob Dandridge.
Russell Westbrook is the only other NBA players had a 12-game stretch like that this season (259 points, 114 rebounds, 142 assists).
Just a quick refresher of some of the Greek Freak’s outstanding games during this ridiculous stretch: 27 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds against the Lakers, 18 points, 11 assists and 16 rebounds against the Rockets, and 26 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds against the Thunder. And that’s a mere smattering of his production over the last 12 games.
This is what the Bucks always hoped Giannis would become: a multi-dimensional terror capable of playing any position on the floor.
Where Giannis has perhaps improved the most is his ability to run the offense. Last season, Jason Kidd started using Giannis as a point guard, but only really to initiate the offense — a quick pass into the post or to the wing, then moving to his next assigned spot. When Giannis plays the point now, he’s running pick and rolls, driving, kicking, and just generally doing everything you’d expect from a point guard who has total control of his team. He’s displaying a command and creativity that wasn’t there before, trusting himself to make the right decision even if it deviates from the pattern of the play.
The Bucks are out of the playoffs this year, but if this proves to be The Jump for the Greek Freak, then Milwaukee could be a force in the league starting as early as next season.