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Ranking the Roster: Thanasis Antetokounmpo Energizes at 15th

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Thanasty. It’s a perfectly endearing nickname for a little-used bench player, but it isn’t quite endearing enough to move him forward any further in Brew Hoop’s annual exercise of ranking the Milwaukee Bucks’ roster. Our faithful readers have deemed Thanasis Antetokounmpo to be the 15th-most important player on the Bucks as currently constructed.

Locked in for a fifth season with the team after an apparent flirtation with the New York Knicks, the older Antetokounmpo brother will presumably continue to be most visible in his role as an emotional tether for Giannis Antetokounmpo, helping keep his younger sibling on an even keel in high-leverage moments. In this sense, he is indispensable.

And yet, he is exiting the rankings in the earliest rounds of the exercise.

The reality is that there are practical reasons that Thanasis played just over 200 minutes throughout the 2022–2023 season, and has played fewer than 1,400 through his NBA career. He careens around the court with the energy of a perfect bench mob member thanks to his familial athleticism, and he’s never met a defensive assignment that he wasn’t willing to take on with vigor, but he just doesn’t score in a significant way—and scoring is at a premium now more than ever.

With statistics like 4.9 fouls per 36 minutes and a barely positive assist-to-turnover ratio for his career, Thanasis’ resume reads as an end-of-bench player. Former head coach Mike Budenholzer regularly deployed him in the waning seconds of second quarters and in times when games were too out of hand for the outcome to be tipped one way or the other. With Adrian Griffin now helming the bench, maybe things will change for Thanasis. A more aggressive philosophical approach to point-of-attack defense wouldn’t seem to bode well for his foul numbers, but perhaps Griffin—who has been known to focus on player development—can help Thanasis polish his game going into his age-31 season.

Does this mean Thanasis will emerge as a more meaningful contributor in the 2024 playoffs? That question is to be approached with a healthy skepticism.


Gut Check: How confident are you that Thanasis Antetokounmpo will be in the playoff rotation?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    1 — Not in the rotation at all.
    (77 votes)
  • 30%
    2 — Might play a few rotation minutes here and there.
    (37 votes)
  • 4%
    3 — Will get some minutes depending on the series.
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    4 — Will be a part of the rotation, playing steady minutes.
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    5 — Firmly in the rotation, playing heavy minutes!
    (2 votes)
123 votes total Vote Now

As someone whose gameday attire routinely includes a lake-blue City Edition jersey with ‘Thanasty’ splashed across the nameplate—and perhaps poetically, an inexplicably backward ‘3’ in his no. 43—no one is more crestfallen to see him ejected from the rankings so early.

Thanasis will not be lonely, though, as there is plenty of company to come. Which Bucks player will be next on the chopping block?


The 14th Most Important Player to Milwaukee’s postseason success is...

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Andre Jackson Jr.
    (14 votes)
  • 2%
    Jae Crowder
    (3 votes)
  • 9%
    Robin Lopez
    (12 votes)
  • 69%
    Chris Livingston
    (90 votes)
  • 3%
    MarJon Beauchamp
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    A.J. Green
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Malik Beasley
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    Grayson Allen
    (3 votes)
130 votes total Vote Now