Welcome to the 2021-22 edition of the Bucks Weekly Spotlight. Each Thursday, we’ll track the progress of the players who are trying to help Milwaukee make another championship run and give updates on other players from the previous week.
This is the 12th edition of the 2021-22 Bucks Weekly Spotlight.
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo
The “Greek Freak” hasn’t scored fewer than 25 points since Dec. 13.
Wednesday’s 33-point performance against Memphis marked 12 consecutive games – Antetokounmpo was inactive for six contests – with 26 or more points for the reigning NBA Finals MVP.
We’re not shocked by the 6–foot-11, 242-pound power forward’s greatness – we just can’t help but admire it.
Antetokounmpo knocked down 12 of 25 shots – including 2 of 4 3-pointers – against the Grizzlies and collected 15 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block. He even made 7 of 8 free-throw attempts.
In his last 12 games, Antetokounmpo is averaging 31.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists. Entrenched in that stretch is nine 30+-point efforts and his fifth 40+-point game (43 on Jan. 8) this season.
From a bird’s eye view, Antetokounmpo is well on the path to challenging for his third MVP award. He ranks third in the NBA in points per game (28.6), sixth in rebounds (11.3) and 20th in assists (6.1).
To help gauge Giannis’ standing: The league’s top scorer – Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant (29.2 points per game) – isn’t ranked inside the top 20 for rebounds or assists per game. LeBron James, the other player to average more points than Antetokounmpo, ranks 35th in rebounds (7.6) and 18th in assists (6.4).
The statistics tell half the story.
Antetokounmpo looks more polished away from the basket. He’s connected on multiple 3-pointers in 11 games – he’s attempted five or more 3-pointers nine times, which tells us his confidence is booming.
Antetokounmpo also is making strides from the charity stripe. He’s sinking 72% of his free-throw attempts despite getting to the line on average 10.7 times, the most trips per game in his nine-year career.
Let’s not forget his speciality – Antetokounmpo is the best on the planet when it comes to playing bully ball. His 60% field-goal percentage on drives is tops in the NBA among players with a minimum of 10 drives per night.
Giannis ought to be the MVP frontrunner with 35 games left on the Bucks schedule.
– Pat Connaughton was highly efficient in Monday’s Eastern Conference finals rematch against Atlanta. The Bucks guard drilled 4 of 5 3-pointers in a 14-point effort, his first game in double figures since Dec. 28. Connaughton also grabbed six rebounds and dished a pair of assists in the loss to the Hawks.
– Grayson Allen enjoyed a strong first week back from health and safety protocols which sidelined the Bucks marksman for four contests. In four games, Allen averaged 12.8 points and shot 40% from 3-point territory (8-for-20), slightly better than his 39% clip this season.
– After missing six straight games due to a left ankle injury, Jrue Holiday returned to Milwaukee’s lineup Wednesday against Memphis. The veteran point guard was eased back into action and scored nine points on 2-for-8 shooting in about 21 minutes, well off his season average of 32.8 minutes per game.
– Khris Middleton has been torching opponents since the Jan. 5 loss to Toronto. He dropped a season-high 34 against the Hawks on Monday and has scored 20+ points in seven of his last eight games, during which he’s sank 25 of 53 looks from deep (47%). That’s straight Khash Money, homie.