Giannis is the driving engine behind this team’s success, as he goes the team will go. The Bucks winning 50 games will be largely on Giannis’s back. The young lanky forward, has made a sizeable jump in on court production every season he is in the league. Last season Giannis was in the fringes of the MVP conversation, with any jump in statistics he will be in the forefront of the MVP conversation.
Last season Giannis put up 26.9 points, 10 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.5 steals a game. This is just a monstrous stat line, his impact was felt on both ends of the court and him being left the All-Defense team was a snub that should be rectified this season. The Bucks only winning 44 games is the biggest reason he was not in the MVP conversation, with them hopefully improving as a team this season, he should be a prime candidate. Giannis was extremely efficient last season scoring the basketball, but he was also judicious with the ball, he lowered his turnover rate for his fifth consecutive season.
Areas for Improvement:
The first area we talk about regarding Giannis and improvement will likely always be his jumpshot. He has become so dominant in other facets of the game that his lack of a jumpshot rarely manifested itself as an issue. There are little parts of his game that could use improvement, he is far from a flawless player. That said his game is incredibly forceful, and the small holes (outside of the glaring hole that is his jumpshot) rarely showcase themselves for meaningful parts of the game.
I think the biggest area we will see improvement is his passing ability, but a lot of that comes with repetition and just having a more structured offense.
Projected Role: Alpha
Giannis is the man. Like I said at the beginning the Bucks will go as far as Giannis can take them. Giannis is the superstar on this team it is no longer 2014 where who their best player is, was potentially up for debate. It is 2018, Giannis is on a different plane of basketball than anyone else in this division much less in Milwaukee. He will be counted on to carry every unit that he features in, regardless of who is on the court with him. The Bucks have added a lot of shooting around him, which should open up the court a lot for Giannis to score at the rim with even more ease.
Projected Key Stat: Assists Per Game
This season could be big for Giannis in determining whether or not he will ever be a big assist superstar. Few players are in the modern game, but they have been a key factor in the MVP conversation the last few seasons. Last season Giannis was at 4.8 assists per game, in the 2016-17 season he was 5.4 assists per game. I believe he can be in the 7 assists per game area, which would be a huge step for his game. It would show the quality and quantity of chances he is creating for others. Coach Bud’s system should give Giannis the ball in areas where he can make quick reads and generate easy looks for himself and the shooters around him, this should in theory do wonders for his assist numbers, but only time will tell.
X-Factor: Three Point Shooting
This will always be the X-factor for Giannis, until he either figures it out or we give up thinking it will ever happen. So far in the preseason Giannis has shown an increased willingness to pull up for three and has talked about it to the media that Coach Bud is encouraging him to shooting it from distance. Giannis might never have perfect form, but if he can become a 34-36% shooter from behind the arc, he is an entirely different player, and perhaps an unguardable one at that. A reasonable goal for this year is to average around one three point make a game, he has never made more than 49 threes in a season, so ~82 threes would shatter that record. Does he need a jumpshot to dominate? I’d argue we know the answer is no, but it would make it a lot easier.