Bucks’ Giannis keeps doing things rarely seen
Welcome to the 2018-19 edition of the Young Bucks Tracker. Each Thursday we’ll either track the progress of the players who might be of help to the Bucks in the future from the Wisconsin Herd or a current member of the Milwaukee roster. We’ll also give updates on the other young players from the previous week.
This is the 13th edition of the 2018-19 Young Bucks Tracker.
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo
The popularity of Antetokounmpo is evident. Look no further than him garnering the second-most fan votes in the recent NBA All-Star Game voting.
It’s no surprise, of course. “The Greek Freak” is one of the most exciting players to watch and he keeps doing things rarely seen, especially in Milwaukee.
In the Jan. 25 win over Charlotte, Antetokounmpo had 34 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and three steals. No Bucks player had posted 30+ points, 10+ rebounds, 3+ assists, blocks and steals in a game since Terry Cummings on Nov. 20, 1986. And before Cummings, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had such a stat line.
It’s not all that common an occurrence around the NBA, either. Only two other players have done it this season, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis. Last year, only Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Detroit‘s Andre Drummond pulled it off. In 2016-17, Davis did it twice along with Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Washington’s Otto Porter.
Giannis followed that game up with 27 points, 18 rebounds and four assists against Oklahoma City. It was his ninth game this season with 18 or more boards, tied for third-most in the NBA.
Two days later, on Jan. 29, he nearly had a triple-double against Detroit, recording 21 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds plus three steals and two blocks. He’s just one of four players this season to have a game with 20+ points, 10+ assists, 3+ blocks and 2+ steals.
Antetokounmpo is averaging 26.5 points, 12.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals. The only other player in NBA history (caveat: blocks and steals statistics can be spotty pre-1983) to average 26+ points, 12+ rebounds, 5+ assists, 1.3+ blocks and 1.3+ steals in a season was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975-76 for the Lakers at age 28.
Giannis just turned 24.
— Malcolm Brogdon averaged 18.5 points on 51.9 percent shooting in two games but had to sit out against Detroit with a sternal contusion.
— With Brogdon, as well as Sterling Brown, hurt, Pat Connaughton played nearly 22 minutes against the Pistons on Tuesday and had 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting, along with four rebounds and two assists. Connaughton also was a plus-18 in just 12 minutes in the win over the Hornets. However, he has been a DNP-coaches decision in three of Milwaukee’s previous five games.
— Christian Wood continues to put up big numbers for the Wisconsin Herd. On Jan. 27 against Erie, Wood had 40 points and 20 rebounds (seven offensive). The previous game against Canton, he had 28 points and 15 boards. Wood is averaging 28.4 points and 13.6 rebounds for the Herd.
— The Herd made a couple of player moves last week. Gone is former Marquette star Vander Blue, dealt to Texas for the rights to Damon Lynn and a second-round pick. The team also signed Xavier Munford, who had been playing in China. Munford played with Wisconsin last season and also appeared in six games for the Bucks after signing a two-way contract.