Two weeks ago, Frank and I got together and talked about the new versions of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. Antetokounmpo was playing point guard and lighting up the Lakers for his first career triple-double. Parker had just put up a new career high of 28 against the Hawks and everything seemed too good to be true. Surely, it wouldn't last.
Well, we are now looking at close to three weeks of action and 11 games of the Bucks' employing the starting lineup of Antetokounmpo-O.J. Mayo-Khris Middleton-Parker-Miles Plumlee and the lineup has continued to be effective. In 123 minutes together since the lineup change on February 9th, that five-man unit has a NetRtg of +3.3 with an Offensive Rating of 106.4 and a Defensive Rating of 103.1, according to NBA.com.
A starting unit with a positive impact on the game is certainly exciting, but not quite as exciting as stellar play from the three Bucks at the center of the Bucks' young core.
Post All-Star (9 gms):— Frank Madden (@brewhoop) March 6, 2016
Giannis 19.9ppg, 10.9rpg, 7.6apg, 2.1bpg, 1.8spg
Jabari 21.9ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.9apg
Khris 22.2ppg, 4.2apg, 4.1rpg, 2.9spg
As Frank noted, those three have been spectacular since the All-Star Break, but that growth brings up a number of interesting questions.
What about their recent play is real? This is a question we asked on the last podcast and I think both Frank and I were very cautious in projecting too much overwhelming success into the future, but their unbelievably strong play has continued for the most part in the last two weeks. And now, one must not only wonder if it can continue for the rest of the year, but if it can be an actual blueprint for the team's future success.
What type of point guard do the Bucks need in the future? Or do they even need one at all? Antetokounmpo has handled point guard duties adroitly in the last two weeks and one must ask if he can continue to do that going forward. His comments after Friday night's Minnesota game certainly suggests that he thinks he can handle the responsibilities in the future. Again, those comments:
"Doing what I'm doing right now, bringing the ball up the floor, no one can give me pressure. Because if they pressure me, I'm just going to go by them. If it's a bigger guy, he's not going to pressure me. If it's a smaller guy, I'm just going to throw the ball ahead and go to the post. So, right now, I'm not going to lie, I don't feel no pressure. I know guys are changing and different guys are guarding me every game, but right now I feel no pressure. I'm just out there playing my game."
How should Bucks fans feel about Giannis Antetokounmpo? Breaking everything down and analyzing how everything could work in the future is how we often spend our time on the podcast and what we often write about here on the site, but, every once in a while, it is also necessary to take a step back and just see how you feel about the emergence of a possibly transcendent player in Milwaukee.
What does the emergence of Giannis Antetokounmpo mean? (NEW!)
Frank and I explore all those topics and much more on the newest Brew Hoop podcast. Audio above or subscribe to us on iTunes here. (Sometimes, that will allow you to get the audio even sooner than if you wait for it to get published here!)