Bucks Lead

Giannis AntetokounMVPo


Let’s start here: Giannis being in this MVP race is fun. It’s down right enjoyable for everyone involved. Giannis is fun, he’s lovable, he’s young, he’s Greek – what more could you want? But before we begin, let’s all just take a moment to appreciate that we are starting this in a happy place.  Bucks’ fans aren’t used to this.

The 23-year-old “Greek Freak” is averaging 28.7 points as well as, 10.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks. Are those numbers enough to be MVP while playing in Milwaukee on a team in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings? Well, for safety sake, we won’t stop there.

The 6-foot-11 wunderkind is more versatile than the word itself. He can fill all of the roles your team could possibly want, sometimes all at once.

Can he be a primary scoring option? He is a nearly 30 point per game scorer. Can he be a number one scorer? I’m insulted!

Can he be the primary defender and be a good help defender? He was second team all defense last season and this season has only improved as a one-on-one stopper. His help-side defense is now amongst the league’s elite and he is neck and neck with LeBron for the person that would terrify me the most if they were chasing me and I had the ball.

Can he checks all the boxes that actually matter? Is he appointment League Pass viewing, does he have eye-popping stats, a physical frame that’s borderline cartoon-ish and a fantastic nickname that speaks to all of it? Yup, yup, and yup!

If this is the point where you would like jump on the Giannis MVP train, please, take a seat and join me.

But don’t just take my word for it, I have references. Earlier this season Celtics coach Brad Stevens straight-up called Giannis “an MVP candidate,” and Hornets coach Steve Clifford basically got woozy when talking about him in an interview. During the offseason, Kobe Bryant issued Giannis one of his exclusive MVP challenges. Other people are saying it! I can’t be wrong!

But for all the excitement about Giannis that I’ve just drummed up, there is an obvious impediment to his candidacy. The Bucks. Should Giannis win the MVP for a team projected to win 44 games? Well, frankly, yes. Russell Westbrook won last year, only winning 47 games. But more than that, Giannis exemplifies what value means. NBA.com has a metric called “player impact estimate” which is a fancy way of saying, a player’s overall contribution against the total statistics in games they play in. Giannis’ 19.9 is #1. He leads the league. The morale of the story? Giannis impacts the game more than anyone else.

But you want more? He’s third in win shares. 4th in value over replacement player. His offensive rating is 120.9 while the Bucks offense as a team is sitting at 110.5. Giannis is creating, building, and running an above average offense on his own.

This is a better way to explain Giannis’s impact than I ever could:

If you remain curious of Giannis’ true value to this organization, this city, and this fan base; I implore you to engage with Bucks’ Twitter some time. The outpouring of love, admiration, and appreciation is unprecedented. This guy is everything.

We always want to identify the “next guy”. And we have. The next guy, is this guy. Let’s all sit down, enjoy a gyro, and talk about our hero. Our MVP. Remember the name. Giannis. Antetokounmpo.



About Josh Sinclair

General NBA and Bucks Lead contributor. Always down to talk buckets and why grilled cheese is the best. Twitter: @thejoshsinclair

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