3 positive stats from the Milwaukee Bucks’ frustrating January

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 10: (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 10: (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 07: (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s impressive free throw shooting in January

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a huge January, even by his standards. Despite the Bucks’ mediocre record in the first month of 2022, the reigning Finals MVP did all he could to put the Bucks in a position to win every night when he was on the floor.

He missed two of their 15 games, but Antetokounmpo averaged 31.5 points on 63.6 percent true shooting to go along with 10.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and around a block and steal per game. He’s firmly in the running for his third MVP award and January was huge for his case.

A large part of that true shooting figure was his free throw shooting, which is always a hot topic around his game. Antetokounmpo had the highest number of free-throw attempts per game in any month this season in January at 13 per game and he shot… wait for it… over 77 percent!

By month this season, Antetokounmpo shot 71.0 percent in October, 65.5 percent in November, and 72.0 percent in December. It’s clear that he’s taken a step forward with his new free throw shooting routine that we saw in the preseason, but January was a big step forward.

Antetokounmpo will always have peaks and valleys when it comes to his shooting, whether it’s at the free-throw line or behind the 3-point line. By the way, he shot a little over 30 percent from 3 in January (30.2 percent) which is the first time this season he broke the 30 percent mark.

I wouldn’t say you should expect Antetokounmpo to continue shooting free throws at a 77 percent clip the rest of the season. But he’s at 71.7 percent overall and if he can continue at over 70 percent then it would be the first time since his first MVP season that he shot over 70 percent from the charity stripe. Encouraging!