Milwaukee Bucks: Grading Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s season thus far

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 08 (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 08 (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

In his third season with the Milwaukee Bucks, Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s role on the team has not changed…at all. Primary cheerleader on the bench. Check. Confidante to younger brother Giannis Antetokounmpo. Check. Energy player when needed. Check. Nothing has changed in the evaluation of Thanasis because he has yet to carve a spot in coach Mike Budenholzer’s rotation, and there has been no evident growth in his overall game. He is who he is at this point.

However, when evaluating Thanasis, it must be done through a different lens because his role is an important part of this championship team. Fans of the team know his importance, and so do the players on the team, even those not named Antetokounmpo.

So, let’s break his grade down into two separate ones: a citizenship grade and an academic grade. The citizenship score will be his reason for being on the roster: to placate his brother, Giannis, and to bring enthusiasm and bench energy to the team on a nightly basis.

Grading Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s season with the Milwaukee Bucks at the 2022 NBA All-Star break

Has Giannis been happy this year? One has to think so. He is having another outstanding season and is in the running for his third MVP trophy. This past weekend he was honored as one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history. At age 27. Yet, one may assume this may not have been the most significant part of All-Star weekend for Giannis: it was having his brothers Alex and Thanasis there as he was honored. Plus, he spent the weekend with them and participated in the Saturday night All-Star Skills Challenge. As all Bucks fans know, family is first for the Antetokounmpos.

Thanasis’ bench energy, much like the overall team defense, has not been as consistent. Surely, his lack of playing time has possibly played a role. He is still one of the only bench players jumping up, high-fiving teammates, and cheering. But, in comparison to previous years, it has been below Thanasis’ high standards of energy.

BTBP Citizenship Grade: B

How about academics–his playing and performance on the court? Well, he does not play. Just like last year, he is not a part of the regular rotation. In fact, he is averaging 9.7 minutes per game this season, which is the exact number he averaged last season. However, at least last year it felt like he had some time on the court. Thanasis would play, even start, in games that starters rested. He would play at the end of quarters. But, not this year.

Thanasis should be a player who could give the team ten minutes of energy and defense on the court. Yet he does not see action, even on nights when multiple players are out. For whatever reason (at this point it has to be skill and ability) his playing time is less than last year and he only sees the court in true “garbage time.”

BTBP Academics Grade: D

Next. 3 reasons to love the Milwaukee Bucks’ signing of Jevon Carter. dark

Hopefully, he can provide a needed boost on and off the court as the Milwaukee Bucks enter the stretch run of the season.