It's A Greek World, We're Just Living In It
Entering the 2013 NBA draft the Milwaukee Bucks just lost Monte Ellis and J.J. Redick to free agency. After a failed attempt by management to gamble on 1 year rentals on players just to make the #8 seed in the playoffs only to get swept by the Miami Heat. For Milwaukie’s troubles they received the #15 pick in the draft, with that selection they ended up drafting Giannis Antetokounmpo out of the 2nd division in Greece. Milwaukee wasn’t sure what they were getting in an 18-year-old that is a tad over 6' 8" who didn’t know his way or what he was going to be able to show in the NBA. Fast forward three full seasons, and my oh my, what a player we have on our hands. At 6' 11" with terrific passing abilities, nice ball handling skills, elite leaping ability, ability to post up smaller defenders, and the sheer length to deflect passes and block shots, this guy is the total package, and he is just getting started. Milwaukee fans can thank head coach Jason Kidd for recognizing what Giannis can do making him the full time starter at point guard midway through last season. Here's proof that Antetokounmpo is not human.
With a nickname like the "Greek Freak," you'd probably expect crazy things out of Antetokounmpo, and you wouldn't be disappointed. He's so athletic that he can take three dribbles to go from free throw line to free throw line on the fast break. Antetokounmpo’s wing span is 7' 3", 4 inches more than his height. This helps the Greek Freak defend without having to move his feet as much while he still covers the ground to get into passing lanes and corral rebounds at a high rate. Giannis possesses great hip extension, which allows him to move laterally at an impressive rate and defend ball handlers better than anybody his size. The length of an average male’s hands measured from tip of the thumb to tip of the pinkie is 7.4 inches. Antetokounpo’s hand measures at 12 inches, and his palming ability gives him better ball control either in the open floor or in the half court. Last but not least, Antetokounmpo has double the size of an average male’s Achilles tendon at 13.5 inches. This allows him to have the burst and acceleration to go the length of the floor night in and night out and make it look like he is hardly moving.
This offseason has been mostly kind to the Bucks. Signing Mirza Teletovic and Matthew Dellavedova will stretch the floor for 3-point shooting this team desperately needed. This duo will be great options off the bench, (unlike Michael-Carter-Williams), and will give the Bucks the outside support for which Kidd has been searching. However, the Miles Plumlee extenstion really hurt this team. How did he get a contract extension? I guess John Hammond was too groggy from sleeping 14 hours the night before. At 4 years $52 M, this is $50 M too much for a center who is so useless Meyers Leonard in Portland is like, “I can’t believe there is a center that is worse than me how is this possible."
Five things to look forward to as a Milwaukee Bucks fan for the 2016-2017 season
1. The day that this team trades Greg Monroe to a team that can use his all offense and rebounding paired with zero defense, so fans can move on from this failed signing.
2. Watching Giannis every night and getting used to him putting up triple-doubles, gliding across the floor like an almost-7-foot cheetah, and taking off from the 3-point line only to jam in a center’s face. (One of these I might have made up)
3. Giving a big round of applause to GM John Hammond for drafting Thon Maker with the #10 overall pick in this year’s draft. He might be a mystery now, but with the right development this guy possesses the scariest potential in the draft.
4. Determing if Jason Kidd can do the team a service and have Dellavedova be the backup to Antetokounmpo. Michael-Carter-Williams is getting worse as each season passes, and it looks like he will be the odd man out here very soon.
5. The vital importance to see how improved Jabari Parker will be. Will he finally come into his own this season? The panel (of one) has full confidence Parker will be the rebound monster, uber-athletic scorer with a good jump shot that this team drafted #2 overall in the 2014 draft.
It's difficult to determine where to place the Bucks for this upcoming season. With the central division weaker on the back half and an Indiana team who is very solid standing in their way, I feel this team can have a 43-39 record get the #7 seed in the east and potentially upset the #2 seed Celtics in the playoffs.