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GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO- A LEGEND IN THE MAKING

WHAT IS FANTASY BASKETBALL?

Fantasy basketball is based on the principle of constructing virtual teams of players from different teams, even different conferences, and earning points based on their real-life performances in the games they play in. Players can create their leagues with their friends/peers or even join a random league.

The process starts at the beginning of each season where the players of the league participate in a draft of the various players in their teams, every person gets a turn to choose a player and the player chosen by the person cannot be chosen by anyone else in the same league After everyone in the league gets their team ready they can choose particular players they want to start the particular matchday according to their positions the players play in the NBA and few other extras from the team. The rest of the roster’s points are taken into account unless they are chosen.

The players chosen by the particular person compete and earn points according to how they perform in real matches in the NBA, points are awarded to players for points earned, assists, rebounds, blocks, results and overall impact of the player. The total points of the person’s starters are added and the people in the league are ranked according to the points their player earns. Moreover, the players can be traded to other people for other players. The person at the top of the league at the end of the season is the winner of the league.

THE BEGINNING

Giannis Antetokounmpo was drafted as the 15th pick in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks of the 2013 NBA Draft. He was drafted as a very thin player among the dominant buff forwards of the other team. Bucks knew he was more of a prospect than a first-team player. Even though the Bucks were struggling a lot and had one of the worst seasons in franchise history. Giannis was averaging 6.8 points,4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game and made the NBA all-rookie 2nd team.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was drafted as the 15th pick in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks of the 2013 NBA Draft. He was drafted as a very thin player among the dominant buff forwards of the other team. Bucks knew he was more of a prospect than a first-team player. Even though the Bucks were struggling a lot and had one of the worst seasons in franchise history. Giannis was averaging 6.8 points,4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game and made the NBA all-rookie 2nd team.

All-Star selection (2017) and Most Improved Player

Giannis got his first all-star selection in 2017 where he was selected in the East conference all-stars team, where he made a permanent mark on the NBA by dunking off a rebound on top of reigning MVP Stephen curry not once but twice. Another time Curry playfully lay flat on a fast break on the court to avoid getting dunked on by Giannis. Bucks finished 6th that season and Giannis went to average 22.9 points per game that season, sportscasters were shocked to see a player so agile fast and unguardable and his stats were similar to one of the greatest to ever set foot on the court, Lebron James.

The likeliness of his game and Lebron’s game were similar in his 4th year back in 2007 that even Stephen A. Smith said he could win the MVP award before anyone in his draft class. Giannis won the Most improved Player that year improving by more than 6 points per game than his previous season.

2018-2019 REGULAR SEASON

2018 season started with a bang for the Bucks with Giannis winning player of the month many times that season and was one of the favourites to win the MVP award that season along with Houston Rockets James Harden who was the reigning MVP.

Under a newly appointed Head coach, Mike Budenholser, Bucks finished in the first seed in the eastern conference with 60 wins. Giannis averaged 27.7 points per game and still was one of the most unguardable players in the NBA. Bucks were hopeful for the playoffs because it was the first time after Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s era that they had a shot at the championship but Bucks could only make it till the Eastern Conference finals where after winning 2 games in a row, they lost the rest 4 games to Kawhi Leonard’s Toronto Raptors, who then went on to become the champions breaking the GSW’s streak and a chance at 3 peat. Giannis went on to become the MVP that season.

2019 SEASON IMPROVEMENTS

This year Giannis is averaging 30.1 points per game while shooting a shattering 59.2% from the field. If there is a loophole in his game, it is his 3-point shooting. Then again, he went 4 of 7 from 3-point range against the Clippers. The Bucks lead the league with the most games won and being the number one defensive team this season and Giannis still a favourite to win the MVP this year again even though James Harden averaging 38.2 points per game, he lacks the defensive skills to win games in which Giannis leads the league making him still 2nd on the MVP ladder.

In the recent matchup against the all-powerful all-star filled lakers with 2 MVP calibre players Lebron James and Anthony Davis who are currently dominating the league as the most powerful duo, Giannis still lead the Bucks to a 111-104 victory in Wisconsin and made a gesture as if He is coming for Lebron’s Crown after being shooting a 3 pointer and increasing the lead. Budenhoser believes that last season’s conferences final’s disappointment is proving to be a fuel for Giannis who is recording better stats than his MVP season last year Perhaps the scariest thing about all this is that Giannis’s numbers in these areas could be even better.

Giannis shot 61.2% from the free-throw line in more than 10 shots and shot 72.9 percent last year whilst being a 74.2 percent shooter for his career before this season. He is quite literally, leaving free points on the board with his performance at the charity stripe. He’s not the only Buck who could be playing even better. According to Second Spectrum, Antetokounmpo’s teammates have an effective field-goal percentage of 0.45 percentage points worse than expected off his passes, which ranks Giannis 90th out of the 131 players who have created at least 250 shots for his teammates. His teammates expected effective field-goal percentage off his passes puts him 27th among that group, so it’s not as though they are missing the shots simply because they’re too difficult to make.

Another one of the big things Giannis is lacking is his 3pt shooting, as it’s been seen a lot before big men like Giannis, Shaq, Deandre Jordan, etc. have all struggled with jumpers, 3pt shooting and free throws but still Giannis has improved a lot in his 3pt shooting than his MVP season last season by a landslide from 25.6% to 32.5% which is a huge improvement for a man of his stature.

POSSIBLE FREE AGENCY IN 2021

Giannis will be eligible for a super-max contract next year, which is the highest paying contract in the NBA which he can opt-out of and be the most sought after free agent in 2021.

When Antetokounmpo was pressed on his future at Media Day, his sentiment only further indicated that there’s little point in this being pressed as a story for the next 12 months or so

“I talked a little bit about it last year and I said that you know, I’m not going to talk about it a lot. And I thought about it this summer when I was sitting down with Thanasis Antetokounmpo and my family on the couch watching shows and all that. I think it’s disrespectful toward my teammates to be talking about my free agency and what I’m going to do. So when the time is right, we’re all going to talk about it, but I don’t think the time is right right now. Our focus is to get better each day, go out there and compete as hard as we can and try to win the NBA championship”.

It’s possible that if Giannis doesn’t intend on discussing his contract, and the Bucks may yet prove to be good enough to make the prospect of him going elsewhere a moot point, As he told reporters, he felt it’s disrespectful toward his teammates to discuss his plans when he has two more seasons under contract in Milwaukee. So the future’s uncertain for the reigning MVP and hinted that he might stay if the bucks continue to put forward these numbers.

The Warriors tend to be the biggest team that could act upon Giannis’s free agency, the fans are still awestruck by the bounce pass from Steph Curry to Giannis who threw down a huge dunk during the 2018 All-star weekend where he was on Giannis’s team and many people think this movie would make the warriors unstoppable as a presence of the best power forward in the league could bring them back to their glory days perfectly balancing offense and defense. The Dubs’ injured superstar Steph Curry fuelled speculations, even more, when he was seen talking to Giannis after the Warriors-Bucks game.

In the end, like any other player, Giannis wants to win Championships and be the best to ever play the game and Bucks are a difficult team to achieve that kind of feat. But most people fear that if the Greek Freak Joins the warriors he won’t improve that much anymore and with young players like Luka Doncic averaging a triple-double this season and on the MVP ladder on his 2nd season itself is increasing the competition, even more, more and more 3pt shooters like Trae young and Luka are forcing tall players like LeMarcus Aldrige, Kyle Kuzma and, Dwight Howard, etc to shoot more 3PTS to evolve with the fast-evolving game.

Giannis is currently averaging 30.1 points,12.8 rebounds,5.5 assists,1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks this season and these stats are better than his MVP season stats last season. He can create plays for both himself and his teammates. A player of his calibre will surely create more open shots for Warrior’s plethora of dead-eye shooters. Even if not with this team, he is ranked number one by ESPN as the player to build a team around if his stats are improving at the current rate, he can easily be one of the greatest players by the time his career finishes and will indeed achieve great feats.

MPL Teamhttps://www.mpl.live/
MPL Team - Enjoy reading gaming, fantasy, poker, and rummy articles by the MPL team on the MPL blog.

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