The Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo are in a better place now than they were a mere month ago. The Eastern Conference as a whole has seemingly gotten better as well, which should be fine given the Bucks’ refreshed mentality in their mission to win the NBA title.
All the acquisitions by the Bucks will make them a better threat to their rivals compared to last season. While their front office failed to execute “Plan A” with Bogdan Bogdanovic, they were still able to land on their feet with the offseason moves that pushed the talent of the roster upwards and on a trajectory to finish with a better postseason result than last 2019-20.
All the while, the Bucks won the offseason championship after making sure that Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t get the chance to test free agency in 2021.
Antetokounmpo has the potential to become one of arguably the best players in the world if he continues trending in the right direction. Milwaukee’s ability to take him off the market for potential contenders will end up being one of their better moves down the line.
With the reigning MVP on board for an additional five years, here’s a look at some predictions in the upcoming season for Antetokounmpo.
4. Finishes runner-up in DPOY voting
Giannis Antetokounmpo will retain his normal defensive strides this upcoming 2020-21 campaign. He’s coming off a season in which he averaged one block per game, which is a slight downtick from his prior season. Be that as it may, it was still enough to earn the 26-year old his first Defensive Player of the Year award. Another aspect of that nod was him grabbing 11.4 defensive boards per game, the highest mark of his career.
Still, Antetokounmpo’s DPOY bid could definitely take a shot this year. Anthony Davis has made his case well-known throughout the years, and he’ll likely look to turn the intensity up this season after many around him felt that the seven-time All-Star was snubbed. There’s always the case for Rudy Gobert as well, who held the DPOY title for two years straight prior to Antetokounmpo taking over.
The Greek Freak will find himself in between the two candidates this season, finishing second in voting.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo gets another star
While the Bucks front office is eager to celebrate Antetokounmpo’s decision, there’s still quite a bit of work to do in order to put his mind at ease with signing the five-year max extension.
On top of that, Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t eagerly sign on the dotted line to remain in a weak market such as Milwaukee without a guarantee from the front office to bring in some additional talent. They fulfilled part of that promise when they traded for Jrue Holiday this offseason, and according to reports, there’s a sense that the top brass will look to come to agreement on an extension with Holiday at some point soon.
There are a few names that the Bucks could go after, but they’ll also be cautious to not surround Giannis Antetokounmpo with players that he wouldn’t mesh well with such as James Harden.
Even so, expect the Bucks to continue their offseason efforts well into the trade deadline for another star.
2. Earns his 3rd MVP award
There’s a lot of doubters in regards to Antetokounmpo grabbing his third consecutive MVP award in this upcoming season. The narrative being painted is that Antetokounmpo’s impact on a team has become a saturated storyline given the fact that his skills are well-known.
There’s also a widespread belief that newcomer Luka Doncic will once-again insert his name into MVP conversations this season and possibly walk away with the title. There’s also LeBron James, who was one of the finalist last year and frankly felt snubbed for the award. Without even those considerations, there still remains a few more storylines such as the return of Kevin Durant turning the tides in the MVP topics.
While the two-time MVP does face a lot of challenging hurdles from his adversaries, Giannis Antetokounmpo is still in a position to win the award for the third time in a row. His stats don’t lie. If his trajectory continues in the right path, he’s on par with having a 30/15/10 statline this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will walk away with his third MVP award this season.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo gets Bucks to the ECF
For all the regular season hype the Bucks usually pose, it always leads to a disappointing conclusion for their seasons. They’ve finished first in the Eastern Conference the last two years only to be eliminated in the conference finals in the 2018-19 season and losing 4-1 to the Miami Heat in the East semifinals last season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will be on a personal mission this season that’ll lie beyond the regular season. The MVP accolades will do him fine, but the embarrassment of only making it to the conference finals once is something that Antetokounmpo won’t allow to continue haunting him too much longer.
The idea of the Bucks getting past the conference finals still remains in question. The Brooklyn Nets are a contender out of the East which could give the Bucks quite a challenge.
Still, Milwaukee will hopefully finish in a better position this year than they have since drafting Giannis Antetokounmpo.