Giannis Antetokounmpo is coming off the best season of his career. In a season when James Harden shattered the record books with his outlandish scoring performances, the Greek Freak still managed to take him the league’s Most Valuable Player trophy in an award race that wasn’t even particularly close.
It looks like Giannis and the Bucks would bulldoze their way through the Eastern Conference playoffs, but those championship dreams came crashing down when they ran into a Toronto Raptors team that was able to solve the Giannis problem and remind the young star that he still has another plateau to reach to become truly great.
A big part of that has to do with his shooting, which has improved in recent years but will continue to be a sticking point until he can find some consistency with it. Giannis himself understands this and is ready to build off his 2019 campaign, during which he posted a respectable 32 percent from downtown during the regular season.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) September 18, 2019
“There’s a lot of people out there that said, ‘Oh, if Giannis don’t add the three, he’s not gonna be one of the best players in the league.’ I just won the MVP? No tree, right?” Antetokounmpo said. “I can still win the championship not shooting the three, but I want to shoot the three. I shot the three a little bit better this year, as the season went along I was getting better. Shooting the three is gonna make it a lot easier for my game and a lot easier for my teammates, so I gotta add that element to my game.”
The thought of Giannis adding a three-pointer is certainly a terrifying prospect for the rest of the NBA, given the way he’s already able to dominate, but his and the Bucks’ failures in the postseason have only magnified that issue. Only time will tell whether his modest upward trend will hold going into next season, but even if he can’t get to a point where he consistently stretches the floor, he is already among the game’s elite players.