Milwaukee Bucks: 3 goals for Giannis Antetokounmpo for 2021-22 season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20: (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20: (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MAY 02 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MAY 02 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Giannis Antetokounmpo could play more at center this next season for the Milwaukee Bucks

This is sort of a combo goal for both Antetokounmpo and head coach Mike Budenholzer. Getting him more regular season reps as a center is something that needs to be done to help maximize how great this team can be.

It’s a tough line to balance, though, with how great Brook Lopez is and how valuable he is to what the Bucks do defensively. That being said, those Giannis-at-center lineups became somewhat of a trump card for the Bucks in the playoffs.

Milwaukee’s second most used lineup in the playoffs was Antetokounmpo at center with Jrue Holiday, Pat Connaughton, Khris Middleton, and P.J. Tucker surrounding him. That lineup played 100 total minutes and posted a plus-18 net rating. Overall, Giannis-at-center lineups posted a plus-12.3 net rating in 275 possessions per Cleaning the Glass.

It’s a goal for Antetokounmpo because there are things he just wasn’t fully comfortable doing defensively as a center yet. Being the only rim protector on the floor, he can’t roam around as much as he does when Lopez (or even Bobby Portis) is out there with him. He hasn’t quite found his footing as a center, so getting reps in during the regular season will help with that and can only make those lineups better in the playoffs.

But he also has flashes that lead to things like this.

It’s something that clearly works for the Bucks, and they know it does. I just want to see Budenholzer experiment with different combinations around Antetokounmpo in the regular season to see what players fit those death lineups and which don’t.

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Antetokounmpo is already one of the three best players in basketball. He could stop improving right now and most fans would be more than content with this version of him. But he has said time and again that he wants to always get better, and these are a few ways how that can happen.