Giannis Antetokounmpo continues strong play against Croatia

Giannis Antetokounmpo is coming up big in his [very] early career. - USA TODAY Sports

The Bucks' 2013 first-rounder played his most complete game of the FIBA Europe U20 Tournament, leading Greece to a 77-68 victory over Croatia on Monday.

Please welcome the newest member of the Brew Hoop Crew, Eric Buenning. You're probably familiar with Eric's work over at Bucksketball and we're pleased as punch to welcome him to the family.

Much has been made of Giannis Antetokounmpo's skill set since he climbed up draft boards prior to the 2013 NBA Draft and eventually landed with the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 15 overall. In fact, I'm pretty sure that "Giannis Antetokounmpo's skill set" has become the most recent installment in Larry Drew's [probable] list of buzzwords he keeps with him for any given interview or press conference.

The excitement is well-deserved, as Antetokounmpo has showcased his wide array of abilities in Greece's first four games at the Under-20 European Championships. Today, however, he put together one of his more dominating performances: 12 points, 15 rebounds, one (official) assist, and six (!) blocks in just over 30 minutes of play.

As KL Chouinard of Bucksketball points out, most of Bo's (a nickname that NBA TV claimed Giannis goes by) blocks came off of rotations within the zone defense. But hey, six blocks is six blocks.

What stood out most in this game was the rookie's decision making. There were a few instances in the half court where he received the ball on the wing and immediately attacked the rim. Being aggressive tends to stand out a little bit more against lesser competition, but what was especially amazing was how quickly his long strides enable him to to get to the rim. Antetokounmpo's length is no joke, and once he gets that NBA strength to complement his quickness and physical attributes, he'll be ridiculous in that regard.

Antetokounmpo's decision making also shined in transition, where showed an awareness well beyond his years. Whether it was drawing fouls or finding open shooters, the 18 (!) year old showed the instincts of an NBA-ready player (note: this is not me advocating for him to start or any other nonsense like that). Thus far virtually all his field goals have come either at the rim or from beyond the arc, and strangely enough he's actually converted more threes (8/18) than twos (6/17) through five games.


Antetokoumpo scored 20 against Germany, doing most of his damage from distance (4/9 threes)

Not everything was worth running through the streets about, though. There were times when Antetokounmpo would float along the perimeter on offense, or watch the ball instead of his man on defense. That shouldn't come as a surprise as, again, HE'S ONLY EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD. He still has miles to go before he is ready for the 82-game grind of a NBA season. But for one day, and one game, Larry Drew (who was in attendance) and company should be pleased with their first-round selection.

What's that, you say? You missed the game?

No need to worry. Just go here and register. It's free.

When can we watch him again?

Greece plays Montenegro....tomorrow (Tuesday)! The tip is scheduled for shortly after 9 a.m. CST!

Does Giannis Antetokounmpo have it all yet?

Not yet. Early returns are lovely, though. Let's just be happy with that.

Antetokounmpo's Stats (5 Games), via http://u20men.fibaeurope.com/en/

G

Min

FG

2P FG

3P FG

FT

Reb

AS

TO

ST

BS

PF

Pts

Avg

M/A

%

M/A

%

M/A

%

M/A

%

O

D

Tot

C

D

5

31.0

14/35

40.0

6/17

35.3

8/18

44.4

16/22

72.7

0.4

6.4

6.8

2.2

1.8

1.2

2.4

2.0

4.8

52

10.4

Match

Min

FG

2P FG

3P FG

FT

Reb

AS

TO

ST

BS

PF

Pts

M/A

%

M/A

%

M/A

%

M/A

%

O

D

Tot

C

D

vs Serbia

33

4/6

66.7

2/4

50.0

2/2

100.0

4/6

66.7

0

5

5

1

0

2

1

1

6

14

vs Germany

30

5/13

38.5

1/4

25.0

4/9

44.4

6/7

85.7

1

1

2

2

1

3

2

2

4

20

vs Georgia

33

2/8

25.0

1/5

20.0

1/3

33.3

0/1

0.0

0

7

7

6

3

0

2

2

5

5

vs Lithuania

25

0/0

0.0

0/0

0.0

0/0

0.0

1/2

50.0

0

5

5

1

2

1

1

3

4

1

vs Croatia

34

3/8

37.5

2/4

50.0

1/4

25.0

5/6

83.3

1

14

15

1

3

0

6

2

5

12


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