Milwaukee Bucks: Takeaways from 99-88 loss to Washington Wizards

MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 20: Giannis Antetokounmpo
MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 20: Giannis Antetokounmpo /
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DALLAS, TX – NOVEMBER 18: (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX – NOVEMBER 18: (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Giannis’ screens

Giannis Antetokounmpo is an amazing basketball player. His skill-set is very well rounded with few weaknesses. One of the things he does not do well at this point in time is set screens, though.

Since the addition of Eric Bledsoe, Giannis has been asked to become the player setting the pick, rather than using the pick, far more often. He has struggled in this role early on.

Setting a pick is a real identifiable skill. The screener needs to set a hard screen, then decisively pick his next action. He has the option to pin the defender on his back, rolling to the hoop, or to pop-out to the perimeter in the hope of catching the opposing defender in a close-out. At this point in time, Giannis is not really doing either.

Currently, Giannis gets in the way of the defender haphazardly then softly fades out to the three-point line. This puts no pressure on the defense, help defenders are easily able to hedge out on Bledsoe for a quick second as his man climbs over and gets back into position.

If Giannis is able to set hard-screens that cause defenders to lag behind, or perhaps even cause a switch, it opens up everything. A switch forces a point guard on Giannis, an unacceptable proposition which will immediately demand a double-team, something all offenses hope for.

Learning how to screen takes time. Last season, Kevin Durant faced similar issues running the pick-and-roll with Steph Curry. The Bucks would be wise to continue to coach and work with Giannis in this new role as it might become one of their more devastating sets.