“The Greek Freak”, as they call him, Giannis Antetokounmpo has gone from strength to strength in his evolution from a silent killer to a fully loaded guns blazing superstar in a span of 3 years.
The superstar small forward who plays for Milwaukee Bucks is racking up ridiculous numbers and is a potential candidate for the… Yeah, I know it’s too soon to say it… Regular Season MVP Award.
Giannis Antetokounmpo started off playing in the Greek A2 League with Filathlitikos and was selected as the 15th draft pick by Milwaukee Bucks in 2013.
Fast forward to his evolution as a lanky figure in 2013 to a cold-blooded one-stride-and-I’ll-dribble-and-dunk-over-you level superstar in 2017, the Milwaukee Bucks have reaped the benefits of their hero’s growing dominance.
But the question still remains: Is it enough to win an NBA title?
Long story short: It’s not.
As much as a mouth-watering stat line of 29.7 points pr game, 10.6 rebounds per game with 4.6 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.5 steals per game sounds like a stellar MVP level season, the Bucks currently sit in the 5th place of the Eastern Conference with 16 wins and 13 losses.
Now I know that you might say that it is too early in the season but the numbers don’t lie every time, even if you take up the example of Cleveland Cavaliers, a team which started of with 5 wins and 7 losses and went to win 14 straight.
That right there is a team with a championship mentality. The keyword here: TEAM.
We saw it last year when Russell Westbrook tried to rally Oklahoma City Thunder and James Harden tried to spark some life into Houston Rockets in the Western Conference against Golden State Warriors and with a rejuvenated Eastern Conference with Boston, Cleveland and even Toronto playing top-level basketball, it’s tough to imagine that a team led by a single superstar with no championship experience will go past the 2nd round of playoffs.
The hype about Giannis Antetokounmpo is real, though. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a phenomenal player but he lacks the squad depth around him to grab a place in the NBA finals.
If there’s a surprise finals appearance which at this point seems unlikely because of the Cavs vs Golden State rivalry, it’ll be great for Giannis but as of now, all I see is a player with superstar-level potential and this season will pretty much decide his future in the NBA.
The Probable Future:
If Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to impress, he might just lurk around the top 3 of the MVP debate. Why I don’t see him winning the award this season is because of the overall impact that his performances have on the Bucks.
If your team doesn’t rack up wins, there’s no point of impressive individual statistics and when you’ve got LeBron James and James Harden racking up brilliant statistics and the overall team wins, it’s tough to make a case for Giannis winning the MVP Award regardless of the challenge given to him by Kobe Bryant.
Westbrook’s MVP season (2016-17) ended with a 1st round playoff exit against the Rockets and that proves the evident need of more shoulders to share the burden.
Khris Middleton can only go so far to support their main man and if Giannis continues to rack up good numbers, a trade deal to a championship level team wouldn’t be a surprise.
Like I said, this season will decide Giannis’ future with the Bucks and although he has stated that he likes it in Milwaukee, it’s only sensible for a superstar to play in a team capable of producing clutch basketball in playoffs.
For now, let’s just enjoy the performances of Giannis Antetokounmpo and witness his meteoric rise as an NBA superstar.
Image Credits: Google Images
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