Milwaukee Bucks: Revisiting Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 2020-21 goals

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 19: (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 19: (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Cleveland Cavaliers: Darius Garland, Taurean Prince
CLEVELAND, OHIO – FEBRUARY 05 (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

After being bombarded with criticism for his playoff shortcomings, Giannis Antetokounmpo finally broke through the wall with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021.

The Greek Freak just put together one of the greatest playoff runs in the modern era that saw the Bucks win a championship for the first time in 50 years. It seems safe to say that fans slept far better this offseason than they did approaching the 2020-21 campaign when there was so much uncertainty surrounding Antetokounmpo’s future with the franchise and Milwaukee’s chances to win it all. As the Bucks geared up last season, we assessed the two-time MVP these three goals to achieve, and let us see if he achieved them throughout a hectic 2020-21 season.

Revisiting Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 2020-21 goals with the Milwaukee Bucks: No. 3 – Limit offensive foul trouble

It is no secret that Antetokounmpo previously had his share of trouble in controlling himself on the offensive end as he steamrolled to the basket. Defenders would often bravely step in the pathway of the 250-pound freight train and take a charge, which got the MVP in foul trouble for the Bucks. He committed 65 offensive fouls during the 2019-20 season, a number he needed to see regress during the following season.

While he was not perfect throughout the year, Antetokounmpo did tally fewer fouls than the year prior by totaling 53 throughout 2020-21. He still bulldozed his way into the lane consistently, but there were times where Antetokounmpo looked far more poised and in control, where the forward would have previously looked like a runaway train. While 12 less fouls might not seem like a world of difference, the improvement was a welcoming sight.

Perhaps the most interesting stat came from the postseason. During the 2019-20 playoffs, the forward committed 11 offensive fouls in nine games. During the team’s title run in 2020-21, he committed 12 offensive fouls across 21 total games. Antetokounmpo played over 500 more minutes during the latter run, and to see him notch just one more offensive foul in that time compared to the previous year is quite stunning.

Part of this regression can also be attributed to Antetokounmpo playing more off-ball as well. With the Bucks trading for Jrue Holiday, they were given a reliable ball-handler that could run the offense when called upon and allow Antetokounmpo to run more freely. The same notion went for Khris Middleton also saw more time with the basketball. The ability for both of these two to take on more responsibility proved to help keep the MVP out of foul trouble.