4 Reasons for optimism regarding the Milwaukee Bucks halfway through 2023-24 season

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Giannis Antetokounmpo's efficiency

Fans have become accustomed to the greatness of Giannis Antetokounmpo, but this might be his best season yet. His per game averages aren't much different (31.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists), but his efficiency is. Giannis is shooting 60.8 percent from the field this season, by far the highest percentage of his career.

Last season, according to Basketball Reference, Giannis shot 60 percent or better in 23 out of 63 games, and this season, he has already done so in 22 out of 39 games. He is benefitting heavily from the gravity and attention that Damian Lillard commands and it has resulted in more one-on-one situations for him than ever before. This has made it that much harder to stop him, and he is taking higher percentage shots than ever.

Giannis has also done a good job limiting low-percentage shots from his game. He is attempting just 1.7 3-pointers per game, less than half of the 3.5 per game he was attempting over the five previous seasons. His three-point attempt rate (9.2 percent) is the lowest it has been since 2014, and he appears to be embracing his strengths and living around the rim more. This is aided by having another ball handler who can handle it above the arc so that Giannis can remain inside the arc instead of being a lead ball handler up top.

His touch on push shots, hook shots, and short jumpers seems to have returned a bit as well. On shots from 3-10 feet away, he is shooting 46.4 percent after being at just 35.9 percent last season. These little in-between shots have always been a key part of fully unlocking his offensive game, and it is a really good sign that his touch seems to have returned.

When Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing as well as he has been, the Bucks always remain a title contender.