Well-rested Antetokounmpo proves to be unstoppable
Welcome to the 2017-18 edition of the Young Bucks Tracker. This year, we’re taking a different tact. With Milwaukee now having a G League franchise, the Wisconsin Herd, each Thursday we’ll either track the progress of the players who might be of help to the Bucks in the future 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 10th edition of the 2017-18 Young Bucks Tracker.
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo
After taking eight days off and missing a pair of games with a sore right knee, Antetokounmpo returned to the Jason Kidd-less Bucks with a vengeance.
Since his return? The 23-year-old recorded 99 points, 40 rebounds and 21 assists in a span of three games in which the Bucks went 3-0.
Antetokounmpo returned to the lineup Friday against the Nets and had one of the best all-around lines of his career, pouring in 41 points (putting him in rare company in franchise history) in the Bucks’ rout over Brooklyn. He flirted with a triple-double, grabbing 13 rebounds to go with seven assists, two steals and a pair of blocked shots.
The All-Star forward was unstoppable, hitting 14 of 20 shots and going 10 of 11 from the free-throw line. The 41 points were Antetokounmpo’s second-highest total of the season.
Two nights later, he had 27 points, nine boards and eight assists against the Bulls before posting another double-double (31 points, 18 rebounds) in Monday’s game against the 76ers.
“The Greek Freak” appears to be fully healthy, which is great news for a Bucks team that is on a four-game winning streak and looking to make a push before the all-star break.
With the playoffs two months away, Milwaukee is seventh in a jumbled Eastern Conference, just a half-game behind Washington and Indiana, one game in back of current fourth seed Miami and 2.5 games away from Central Division-leading Cleveland, which is now without Kevin Love for an extended period of time.
— Even with the return of Antetokounmpo to the lineup, Khris Middleton averaged 20.0 points last week and shot 51.1 percent from the field.
— Entering Thursday’s game, John Henson has scored in double figures in six straight games — tying the longest such streak of his career. He also did it Nov. 30-Dec. 10, 2013.
— Rookie guard Sterling Brown continues to get playing time, having logged at least 20 minutes in five consecutive games. He had the first back-to-back double-digit scoring games of his career last week, posting 12 points at Chicago and then 10 against Philadelphia.
— The Wisconsin Herd played only one game last week, on Saturday. Xavier Munford, who is on a two-way contract with Milwaukee, had a team-high 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting with seven rebounds and five assists.
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