Giannis Antetokounmpo entered the rare fraternity of NBA Finals MVPs this summer. The Milwaukee Bucks won the Finals, everyone was happy, but there might not have been people that were as happy as Thanasis Antetokounmpo.
The older brother of Giannis, Thanasis, is entering the first year of his fresh two-year extension he signed this offseason. Some may say that he’s just there to be with his brother. On the contrary, he is more than capable of contributing in a valuable way this season. With that being said, here is a breakdown of what Antetokounmpo’s role could be during the 2021-22 season.
How the Milwaukee Bucks will use Thanasis Antetokounmpo in 2021-22
Some may not know, but Thanasis actually got a taste of the NBA before his younger brother. The elder Antetkounmpo spent time in the D-League (now G-League) from 2013-2015 before a brief stint with the New York Knicks in 2015-16.
If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a Bucks fan, so you know that when Milwaukee announced the signing of Thanasis prior to the 2019-20 season, Giannis’ comfort level must have increased exponentially.
Now in year three with the team, he has a chance to contribute. It may not be for large stretches or in late-game situations, but here are three reasons as to why Thanasis can make a name for himself in the Bucks’ second and third units.
Not to say that he’ll have an impact like former Bucks forward P.J. Tucker, but he certainly has some similarities. He possesses a knack for the ball on defense and on the glass, quickness to run in transition, and everlasting energy that only helps a team. In a year where the Bucks need all hands on deck to repeat, an increased workload could be beneficial for Milwaukee’s second unit.
Did I Mention Energy?
There’s a saying that goes around sports, centered around playing with those who make you better. Thanasis definitely falls into this category. Whether it’s a hustle rebound, a poster dunk, or simply yelling praises to his teammates, his energy is contagious. Many teams experience a “championship hangover,” so having this kind of unwavering enthusiasm on the court can only be a positive for this Milwaukee squad.
Experience Never Hurts:
Enter the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A different sport, but the logic remains the same. Tampa Bay brought back all of their 22 starters from their Super Bowl team. For reference, no team in NFL history has ever completed that challenging task. Here is where the Bucks can take a page out of the book of a different sport. Replacing Tucker won’t be easy, but with Milwaukee bringing back their core from a year ago, it sets them up for future success.
Even though Thanasis is not a vital part of the starting five, or even the second unit, he is back. A championship-level team needs experience, and after last year, everyone can add “NBA Champion” to their resume. Having a player returning is always beneficial, but someone with the heart and grit of Antetokounmpo is worthwhile.
Thanasis Antetkounmpo: all Milwaukee Bucks fans are cheering you on. Here’s to plenty of left-handed dunks like this one, a personal favorite from the 2019-20 season.