Milwaukee Bucks: Can Giannis Antetokounmpo average 30 points over 2019-20 season?

BOSTON - MAY 6: Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks during the third quarter. The Boston Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals at TD Garden in Boston on May 6, 2019. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - MAY 6: Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks during the third quarter. The Boston Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals at TD Garden in Boston on May 6, 2019. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

After compiling yet another career high in this department last season, we explore whether Milwaukee Bucks superstar and reigning MVP Giannis  Antetokounmpo can reasonably average 30 points over the course of the 2019-20 NBA season.

There’s no disputing that Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo stands as one of the most dominating forces in the NBA today.

The Greek phenom has spent each of his six NBA seasons fashioning his skill set to new heights and taking leaps in his game that very few thought would be possible when he was a long, gangly prospect shrouded in some mystery in the lead up to the 2013 NBA Draft.

More from Bucks News

Antetokounmpo’s entire personal transformation has made the impressionable, wide-eyed rookie coming to America version of himself a distant memory and he’s now fully arrived as one of the league’s transcendent talents, especially so after being named last season’s Most Valuable Player.

Antetokounmpo’s all-around statistical leap last year was aided by the organizational philosophical shift the Bucks experienced, spearheaded on the court by the arrival of head coach Mike Budenholzer, that made his penchant for attacking the paint to either demolish rims or head to the free throw line even easier for the 24-year-old.

All of it resulted in Antetokounmpo averaging a career-high 27.7 points per game, good for third in the league behind fellow MVP finalists, Paul George and James Harden, on a .578/.256/.729 slash line. Much was made about the reigning MVP being the most productive presence in the paint  since Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal was in his prime, as Antetokounmpo went on to average a league-leading 17.5 paint points throughout the Bucks’ 60-win season, per

That Antetokounmpo led the league with the highest average of shot attempts taken within the restricted area last year certainly helped him in that regard. Add in Antetokounmpo’s penchant for getting to the free throw line at a gaudy rate, as only Harden and Philadelphia 76ers All-Star big man Joel Embiid averaged more trips to the free throw line than Antetokounmpo last season.

Now, with the 2019-20 season slowly approaching and Antetokounmpo and the Bucks as a whole eager to top the mark they respectively set last year, is it possible for the seven-foot dynamo to reach another level all in an effort to reach the 30 points per game mark next season?

In Bucks history, only one player has been able to achieve such a feat and it’s unsurprisingly the only other MVP and Antetokounmpo’s equal in Bucks history, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who averaged 30 or more points per contest over the course of a campaign in four of his six seasons while in Milwaukee.

That may seem like an all too ambitious prospect for Antetokounmpo, especially after his scoring jump was far less of a leap to the previous ones he made statistically over the last few seasons. And the fact that Antetokounmpo’s jump shot still remains the most pronounced flaw in his entire game makes it an even more difficult challenge for him to achieve such a goal next season or in any of his future campaigns.

But even with all opposing teams around the league holding the book on how best to defend and make life a little more difficult for Antetokounmpo, he still is able to find cracks to break through even the most formidable wall of defenders on his way to the rim.

That’s why it may come as a surprise to some that, on a per-36 minute basis last season, Antetokounmpo averaged 30.4 points, thanks to the incredible total efficiency he finished with for the year as he averaged a 64.4 true shooting percentage.

Could it be that the biggest thing holding Antetokounmpo back from averaging 30 points per game over a season is the Bucks’ regular season dominance, even if it won’t be as overwhelming as it was last year? Perhaps, and that’s even taking into mind Antetokounmpo playing occasional minutes even with games well in hand late.

However, that shouldn’t overshadow the fact that Antetokounmpo’s shooting touch will be the ultimate key in him potentially surpassing the high scoring mark he has most recently set for himself. Many look to Antetokounmpo’s lack of range as being the biggest fault that holds him back in filling out his entire scope of skills and it’s a valid one, being a career 27.7 percent three-point shooter.

Considering that Antetokounmpo brandished a 55 percent free throw rate last season, though, honing his touch from the charity stripe is a little more pressing, given how shaky it has been historically for stretches and especially so in the postseason (Antetokounmpo has converted 64 percent of his free throws over his 34 playoff appearances).

Next. Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo faces uphill climb for playing time. dark

For as long as he’s unable to master it, all aspects of Antetokounmpo’s shooting prowess will be something of a skeleton key and that could ultimately prevent him from hitting the 30 points per game mark, barring yet another incremental leap next year. Though you might not want to bet against Antetokounmpo doing so.