Milwaukee Bucks made sure to bring back a fan favorite after winning the 2021 titl..."/> Milwaukee Bucks made sure to bring back a fan favorite after winning the 2021 titl..."/> Milwaukee Bucks made sure to bring back a fan favorite after winning the 2021 titl..."/>

Milwaukee Bucks: 3 feasible goals for Thanasis Antetokounmpo in 2021-22

Jul 11, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 11, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic
Apr 8, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Goal No. 2 — Thanasis Antetokounmpo must develop into a reliable defender for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021-22

Due to that aforementioned hyperactive presence, Thanasis often found himself in trouble on the defensive end for the Bucks. It was not necessarily that he was a bad defender, more so that he was overaggressive at times, which got him into foul trouble and resulted in him having to check out of the game. Fouling has always been a recurring problem for Thanasis, as he averaged five fouls per 36 minutes during the 2019-20 season and 4.8 during 2020-21. As Thanasis attempts to earn a steadier role in the rotation, one way that he could do so would be showing off improved defense that includes less fouling.

Head coach Mike Budenholzer has emphasized the importance of defense since he took the job three years ago, helping transform the Bucks into one of the most formidable defensive teams in the association. The front office is always looking to add more pieces to bolster the defense, which is exactly why they swung the trade for P.J. Tucker last March in preparation for the postseason. Tucker gave the Bucks another versatile defender to utilize all throughout their playoff run, and they likely would not have won the title without his presence.

With Tucker shockingly leaving the Bucks in free agency, the team will need to find a replacement quickly. Many have already pegged Semi Ojeleye as the ideal candidate after the team signed him to a one-year deal as he is a solid defender with incredible strength that allows him to defend at a high level. Those claims are undoubtedly valid and will help Ojeleye earn a spot in the rotation, but Thanasis should look to leave his mark defensively as well. He is certainly not on the same level as Tucker or possibly even Ojeleye, but if Thanasis can show off some improved defense next season, he could see his playing time improve steadily.