Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo has better defensive rating than LeBron James, Michael Jordan’s best years
Giannis Antetokounmpo is having one of the best seasons in NBA history. At the tender age of 24, The Greek Freak looks as if this season’s MVP award is his for the taking, even though James Harden is receiving plenty of praise as well. Recently, Milwaukee Bucks legend Sidney Moncrief caped for Giannis’s candidacy, and with good reason.
Currently, when just looking at raw counting stats per game, Antetokounmpo is producing some bonkers numbers. He is currently 5th in scoring per game with 27.4 points, 6th in rebounding per game with 12.5 and, perhaps most surprisingly, 19th in assists per game with 5.9.
Beyond that, he is 5th in usage percentage at 32.2 percent and his defensive rating of 98.9 is #1 in the entire league. That final stat is historically significant, as outlined by Justin Kubatko of StatMuse:
Best defensive rating by a player with 2,000+ minutes, 30+ usage rate and 120+ offensive rating:
98.9 – Giannis Antetokounmpo (2018-19)
99.0 – LeBron James (2008-09)
99.4 – Michael Jordan (1995-96)
* Since 1977-78, when individual turnovers were first recorded.
— Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) April 2, 2019
As you can see, Giannis has the combination of defensive brilliance, offensive production, highlight plays and much, much more on his side in order to sway voters his way when it comes to the MVP race.
This is a truly historic season for The Greek Freak, as Kubatko’s Tweet details. Beyond that, Giannis is leading the Bucks to one of the best seasons in franchise history with at least 60 wins.
The Greek Freak deserves all the praise that can be heaped upon him, and joining the likes of Michael Jordan and LeBron James means Antetokounmpo is right up there among two of the greatest to ever play in the NBA.