Power forward seems like one of the few positions for the Bucks that should be relatively straightforward to break down this offseason. Offensively, there would seem to be just two guys that should be playing the position — Jabari Parker and Mirza Teletovic -- but, as is often the case, we don’t think it is quite that simple. Take a listen why in today’s positional breakdown podcast:
As we took a closer look at the position, we agreed that Giannis Antetokounmpo’s vast skillset casts a large shadow on the Bucks’ power forwards and their responsibilities on the floor. Though I have insisted on calling Antetokounmpo a point guard, Frank has held strong in calling him a point forward and his defensive strengths remain a major reason for holding onto that distinction. Often times last season, Antetokounmpo would find himself fulfilling many of the defensive duties we would expect of a power forward and one would reason that will remain true as well this season, which leaves us with an awkward question: Is Jabari Parker actually just a small forward masquerading as a power forward for the offensive benefits?
This season is undoubtedly massively important for Parker, as he will be eligible for an extension next summer and still has clear improvements to make before being worthy of the max extension he surely would prefer (and which Bucks fans have long assumed he will receive). One of the biggest questions surrounding Parker’s play is his defense, and we delved into his seeming reluctance to play physically on defense and the possibility that he fears taking a foul he may see as unnecessary. And of course there are moments like this in pick-and-roll:
While many questions still remain regarding Parker’s play, the Bucks’ newest addition at power forward, Mirza Teletovic, does not appear to have those same questions. At this point, Teletovic is a somewhat known quantity. Offensively, he is a floor spacer with a high three point rate. As we alluded to in the podcast, Teletovic is not the type of player that might shoot a three if he is open. Last season, Teletovic attempted 5.8 threes per game and almost 60 percent of his field goal attempts came behind the three point line. So, he is more like the type of guy that looks for a sliver of space to let a three fly. Overall, though, what does Teletovic bring to the Bucks’ power forward rotation?
Finally, after talking briefly about Antetokounmpo’s effect on Parker and Teletovic as point guard offensively, we discussed possibly the Bucks’ biggest question mark on the entire roster, Thon Maker. In the Las Vegas Summer League, Maker roamed all over the court trying to block as many shots as possible and chucking up threes in Teletovician fashion. Those two activities, as well as his slender frame, might fit a little bit better at power forward than at center this season. So, will Maker play more than 800 minutes this season? Will more than 50 percent of his minutes come at power forward?