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, Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 20 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Revisiting Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 2020-21 goals with the Milwaukee Bucks: No 1 – Polish up free throw percentage

This was arguably the biggest goal that Antetokounmpo needed to hit entering the 2020-21 season with the Bucks. His free throw percentage had plummeted with each passing year in the previous three seasons, and it was hindering his performance drastically.

During the 2019-20 season, Antetokounmpo shot a career-low 63.3 percent on 10 attempts per game from the stripe. To his credit, he did improve his poor shooting by hitting 68.5 percent of his 9.5 attempts during the 2020-21 regular season. While there were certainly nights where he was far from perfect, especially during some early season struggles, Antetokounmpo managed to put together a solid bounce-back season from the line.

The significant test would come during the playoffs, where Antetokounmpo would have to make those shots while facing the utmost pressure. Of course, the MVP’s lengthy free throw routine would become a topic of controversy after receiving 10-second violations on several occasions. Opposing fans become chanting to 10 whenever Antetokounmpo stepped to the stripe, and while he claimed it did not impact him or his routine, he did shoot a subpar 58.7 percent from the line in the postseason. There was no shortage of air balls and brutal misses throughout his 206 tries from the line, but Antetokounmpo remained confident with each and every shot.

During the NBA Finals, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul even took a jab at Anetokounmpo by telling reporters that everyone was expecting him to miss whenever he stepped to the stripe. In the end, Giannis got the last laugh as he finished off the Suns in Game 6 of the Finals by shooting 17-of-19 from the line. After a postseason full of free throw troubles and verbal heckling from the opposing crowds, it was fitting to see Antetokounmpo close out his 50-point performance at the line.

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His percentage did improve in both the regular season and the postseason from the year prior, but there is still work to be done for the reigning Finals MVP.