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Is there anything Giannis Antetokounmpo can’t do? Maybe not. But the Milwaukee Bucks star forward sees an area in which he could improve.
So the man known as The Greek Freak is trying to become a Freak on threes. Or more precisely, he has been putting in extra work on his perimeter shooting.
“I’ve worked so much this summer on it and day by day I get more comfortable,” Antetokounmpo said of his 3-point shooting, via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “I’m going to shoot more shots and hopefully I make more. If I don’t, there’s another year coming and hopefully next year I can be better and better and better and better and better. Eventually, it’s going to come.”
Antetokounmpo is mostly known as an amazing athlete with size who can handle the ball, slash and defend. But he has averaged less than two 3-pointers a game and is shooting just 28 percent on them for his career.
If he can improve that number … well, you may as well just sit back and watch him play. There will be no stopping him.
And Antetokounmpo may get more of an opportunity now that Mike Budenholzer has taken over as coach. Budenholzer is more likely to give Antetokounmpo the green light from long range than former Bucks coach Jason Kidd did — at least right away.
“I think it was my second year he told me not to shoot the ball,” Antetokounmpo said of Kidd. “Then my third year, at the end of the year, he told me to shoot the ball a little bit. In my fourth year, he let me shoot the ball and in my fifth year he told me, ‘You have the green light, do whatever you want,’ but I wasn’t comfortable enough. It’s hard. When you’re not shooting the ball, it’s hard to get back (to shooting).”
The Bucks are fully expecting to return to the playoffs and Antetokounmpo will again have the be the man who leads them. Extending his range will only help the cause.
“I want him to be great,” Budenholzer said. “I don’t think we’re going to snap our fingers and he’s going to be Ray Allen or Chris Mullin, but I think he’s certainly got a lot of confidence. He’s spent a lot of time working on it. … In an ideal world he’s making them, but more important to me than anything he’s just shooting and playing with a lot of confidence. Over time, we’re going to reap the benefits of that.”