With extra rest, Bucks’ Greek Freak is even freakier

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo’s stats take another leap forward with at least two days rest. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t get much rest.

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The Milwaukee superstar’s effort on both ends of the floor is tireless — his 36.9 minutes per game ranks third in the NBA. But when he does get to rest his legs, the 23-year-old goes from a two-time All-Star dubbed the Greek Freak to … the Greek Freakier?

When Antetokounmpo gets two or more days of rest, his numbers in practically every category rise. The biggest difference is in his 3-point percentage, which jumps from 24.1 to 42.9 percent with a little extra time off.

Antetokounmpo, 0/1 Days vs. 2+ Days Rest – 2017-18

0/1 DAYS 2+ DAYS
Games 34 15
Points/gm 27.1 29.7
FG% .532 .562
3-pt% .241 .429
Rebounds/gm 10.2 10.8
Steals/gm 1.4 1.7

Luckily, the Bucks had two full days off after their 103-89 win over New York on Tuesday before heading to Miami to challenge the Heat on Friday night.

Milwaukee has lost both matchups to the Heat this season, but it has yet to face Miami with interim head coach Joe Prunty leading the sideline.

In Prunty’s eight games as head coach, the Bucks are 7-1 and have improved greatly on the defensive side of the ball. They are allowing 96.0 points per game, 10.1 fewer than in the 55 games under former coach Jason Kidd.

Bucks, before/after Prunty took over as head coach

Before Jan. 22 Jan. 22 & since
W-L (pct.) 23-22 (.511) 7-1 (.875)
Opp. points/gm 106.1 96.0
Opp. FG% .472 .433
Opp. 3-pt% .381 .264
Rebounds/gm 38.6 42.1
Second chance PPG 9.8 13.4


— If Miami wins Friday night, it would sweep the season series against the Bucks for the first time since 2013-14.

— Miami center Hassan Whiteside is averaging 20.3 points and 13.8 rebounds while shooting at an 84.2 percent clip from the field in his last four games against Milwaukee.

— Khris Middleton is shooting 51.3 percent from the field when the Bucks win but 40.4 percent in losses.

— The Heat had multiple players (Goran Dragic and Josh Richardson) score 30+ points on Wednesday for the first time this season. Milwaukee has done that twice — both times against the Phoenix Suns.

— The Bucks are 13-3 when guard Eric Bledsoe scores at least 20 points.

Statistics courtesy STATS, basketball-reference