Number 3: Giannis’ midrange and free throw shooting
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s struggles as a shooter have been well-documented over the years, as he has never been a consistent 3-point, midrange, or free throw shooter. With that being said, Giannis was actually improving as a midrange and free throw shooter prior to last season. His free throw percentage from 2019-2022 went from 63 percent to 69 percent to 72 percent, and his midrange percentage was all the way up to 42 percent in 2021-22.
However, last season, Giannis took a big step back on these shots, as his free throw percentage dropped back down to below 65 percent, his midrange fell to under 36 percent, and overall, he shot a dismal 30 percent on all shots outside of the restricted area, the worst mark in the league.
He consistently struggled to hit shots from the in-between area, shooting just 28 percent on shots from 5-15 feet. Those were shots that he hit at a 40 percent clip the season prior and a 48 percent clip in the 2021 playoffs, which really took his game to another level. He also shot just 10-for-23 on free throws in the elimination game against the Heat, a big reason for their collapse down the stretch.
Giannis is likely never going to reach much higher than 30 percent on threes, but he has shown the ability to shoot over 40 percent from midrange and over 70 percent on free throws. Those are the two shots that can really make a big difference if he can get back to making them at a decent clip. Giannis is going to be amazing regardless, but the free throw and midrange shooting could be the difference between playing into May and playing into June.
Milwaukee Bucks basketball is right around the corner.