3 goals for Giannis Antetokounmpo after the All-Star Break

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 22: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 22: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Giannis Antetokounmpo is off to a great start in the first 60 games of the Milwaukee Bucks regular season. Arguably an MVP level, Giannis Antetokounmpo after the All-Star break will strongly determine where the team finishes in the rankings and their postseason aspirations as they seek to defend their title.

The Bucks have 22 games remaining on their schedule in the “second half” of the season, which began Saturday night against the Brooklyn Nets. With just seven games separating the first seed in the Eastern Conference from the play-in teams, let’s look at three goals for Giannis Antetokounmpo after the All-Star break.

3 goals for Giannis Antetokounmpo after the All-Star break: Career highs

My first goal for Giannis Antetokounmpo after the All-Star break is to average four career highs. Giannis Antetokounmpo is having an MVP caliber season as mentioned, however, he is also having an all-time great season and one of his best as a professional. Giannis is currently on pace to break his own all-time single-season player efficiency record that he set in 2019-20. Giannis currently has a PER of 32.3, unfortunately, Giannis still trails Nikola Jokic by .32 points in the category.

Player efficiency rating isn’t the only statistic Giannis Antetokounmpo is on pace for a career-high in. Giannis is currently averaging six assists per game, if Giannis can finish the season at or above where he is now, he would beat out his career-high of 5.9 assists per game which he did last season and in the 2018-19 season.

The last statistic Giannis Antetokounmpo has a chance for a career-high in is points per game. Giannis is currently averaging 29.4 points per game which is just .1 points per game off his career-high 29.5 from the 2019-20 season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is also averaging a career-high 3-point percentage, although it’s not a terribly high percentage it still signals that the two-time MVP is still improving. With a strong finish to the season, Antetokounmpo could potentially average career highs in four categories.

3 goals for Giannis Antetokounmpo after the All-Star break: break a KAJ team record

My second goal for Giannis Antetokounmpo after the All-Star break is to break a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar record. Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently second only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the franchise record in points scored. Kareem scored 14,211 points as a Milwaukee Buck, Giannis currently has 13,762, 449 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. If Giannis continues to score 29.4 points per game he would break Kareem’s record in 15.27 games.

Looking 15-16 games into the future for the Milwaukee Bucks would put them at the end of March, at the end of March. There are two opponents Giannis could look to upstage by breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise points record.

First on March 29th, the Milwaukee Bucks’ 15th game after the break, the Bucks play the 76ers in Philadelphia, what better way to strengthen Giannis’ MVP case than to break the Bucks franchise scoring record in the building of one of his main competitors Joel Embiid. If Giannis say, misses a game or doesn’t reach the record in Philadelphia, two days later on the 31st of March the Milwaukee Bucks face the Nets in Brooklyn. Breaking a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar franchise-record would be a great way to take some of the attention that constantly falls on New York teams and put it on Giannis and the Bucks.

3 goals for Giannis Antetokounmpo After the All-Star Break: MVP and DPOY

My third and most daunting goal for Giannis Antetokounmpo after the All-Star break is to win the MVP and DPOY in the same season again. Giannis Antetokounmpo is already just one of three players to win the NBA MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season, joining Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan. However, neither of them was able to repeat that feat.

Depending where you look, Giannis Antetokounmpo is anywhere from first to third in most rankings for MVP, looking at the most recent NBA.com MVP Ladder, Giannis is currently ranked third, sporting averages of 29.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, and six assists. The Milwaukee Bucks currently have one more loss than the Philadelphia 76ers and are tied in the win column. For Giannis to help his case he will likely have to overtake Nikola Jokic in player efficiency and Joel Embiid in scoring. In addition, the Bucks have the hardest remaining schedule coming out of the break, so if Giannis can take the lead in those categories during the stretch run and lead the Bucks to a top seed in the Eastern Conference, his case for MVP would be very strong.

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As far as Giannis Antetokounmpo is concerned on the defensive end, he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing. In NBA.com’s most recent Defensive Player of the Year Ladder, Giannis is the leader for the award. Again the Milwaukee Bucks tough record comes into play, but if Giannis can maintain his strong defensive performance through the last stretch of the season facing top talent in the NBA, he will have a strong case to claim his second DPOY trophy and become the first in NBA history to accomplish the feat twice in his career.