Basketball-reference predicting regression for Milwaukee Bucks’ starters?

May 1, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 15: (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Basketball-reference predicting Milwaukee Bucks’ regression: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Even two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo couldn’t escape the predicted regression from basketball-reference, it is hard to imagine a player as dedicated as Giannis, one of, if not the hardest working players in the entire league, a guy entrenched in the prime of his career, who turns 28 in December, not improving.

Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first player in the history of the NBA to be First-Team All NBA unanimously four consecutive times after the 2021-22 season, per 36 minutes last year Giannis averaged 32.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.5 blocks, 1.2 steals, 3.6 turnovers and 3.5 fouls. Giannis shot 55.3 percent from the field, 29.3 percent from the 3-point line and 72.2 percent from the free throw line.

What is basketball-reference projecting for Giannis in 2022-23? 31.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.2 steals, 3.6 turnovers and 3.3 fouls and projected 55.5 percent on field goals, 30.1 percent on 3-pointers and 70.6 percent from the free throw line.

While the percentages seem reasonable when compared to his career numbers, like Khris Middleton, Giannis is projected to be more efficient on his shots from the field but still score fewer points per 36 minutes, suggesting a reduction in his role.  While the Bucks front office has been clear about wanting to keep Giannis fresh and not overusing him, using a baseline of per 36 minutes would take the question of how much playing time out of the equation. So what possible explanation could their be for projecting Giannis Antetokounmpo to score 1.1 fewer points and slightly fewer rebounds? There is really no scenario where reducing the role Giannis Antetokounmpo plays for the Milwaukee Bucks is a good idea.