It’s always seemed unlikely that Giannis Antetokounmpo will develop into a bonafide primary scoring option. Though still just 20-years-old as his third NBA season rapidly approaches, the Greek Freak just hasn’t shown necessary knack and comfort with the ball in his hands to suggest that kind of role going forward. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be an offensive cog for the Milwaukee Bucks at present and in the future – assuming he fortifies his biggest weakness.
And in Greece’s recent EuroBasket tuneup against the Netherlands, Antetokounmpo showed he’s already made major strides toward doing just that. The international career-high 22 points are certainly encouraging, but more so was the manner in which they were compiled.
Antetokounmpo’s reworked jumper was on full display versus the Dutch, as he connected on three of five tries from beyond the arc – his second consecutive performance of three made triples. That sustained long-range success is an extremely encouraging sign for the 6’11 forward, who Jason Kidd basically forbid from taking three-pointers in his sophomore season. After making 34.7 percent of 1.7 treys per game during his debut campaign, Antetokounmpo shot a paltry 15.9 percent from deep on just 44 total tries in 2015-2016. Needless to say, his unique blend of size, athleticism, and ballhandling ability would be greatly enhanced by a reliable perimeter jumper.
Though Jabari Parker seems most destined to become Milwaukee’s go-to scorer, Antetokounmpo’s all-around ability stands to prove most influential to the Bucks’ long-term success. And if he builds on a successful summer of three-point shooting when this season finally tips off, we’re bound to see much more than flashes of the all-court playmaking prowess that makes Giannis such a tantalizing prospect.
[Via Chema de Lucas]