Milwaukee Bucks: A deep analysis on sparkplug Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Feb 21, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 21, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 21: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 21: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s offensive limitations are evident with the Milwaukee Bucks

Before he can earn consistent minutes, a few areas of Thanasis’ game need addressing, primarily on the offensive end. Rebounding and screening come naturally for the athletic forward, but he lacks the tools and dfined skills to create offensive opportunities against a set defense.

Like his brother, Thanasis has no jumpshot as he’s shooting just 21 percent on shots taken from beyond three feet. He has converted 23 of his 30 attempts within the restricted area (76.7 percent), but such looks at the basket are primarily assisted by teammates. Take a look at this play from the Bucks matchup against the Oklahoma Thunder last month.

As soon as Forbes drives, Thanasis slips down to the baseline and finishes the open flush. This type of action suits him well, where his teammates create the opportunity. Aside from these misdirection plays, though, he cannot handle consistent offensive looks.

Thanasis struggles to beat attentive pressure – defenders expose the deepest flaws of his game in one-on-one battles. As a result, the majority of his field goal attempts come from his own work on the offensive glass, or the baseline play we just saw.

When tasked with making a play, this Antetokounmpo does not impress, as seen by his sky-high 28.1 turnover percentage this season.

Well-executed cuts should be rewarded with easy buckets, especially for a team often guilty of settling for isolation-heavy possessions. Thanasis has no problem doing that when off the ball, but his inability to recognize these openings stems from his on-ball discomfort, which can be remedied by developing as a ball handler.

When controlling the ball has become second nature, his cutting teammates will become more obvious, and his isolation package will expand. As a confident ball-handler, he can move freely and harness his greatest strength by creating chaos.

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Despite his offensive limitations, Thanasis’s well-rounded play style would earn him significant minutes in any second unit. Few players match his levels of effort and intensity, while also flashing textbook defensive fundamentals. If he can develop his offensive skillset to a similar caliber, the league might have two Antetokounmpos to worry about.