Giannis Antetokounmpo’s development over the past 7 years has been nothing short of remarkable. When he arrived in the league in 2013 he was a skinny framed, marginally skilled, and for the most part an unknown player. The Scouting Report read that he was raw, long armed, and VERY ATHLETIC. The downside was that he played in a very low level league in Greece and was a long ways away from being able to make a difference in a High Level NBA Game. It’s a great story that’s been played a thousand times over the basketball landscape. I wanted to spend some time today breaking down situations in which Giannis has to create space in the half court. This is the part of his game that he needs to continue to get better at, but has shown some potential getting better every year.
First thing that I showed in the video was his straight line drives. He tends not to waste many dribbles before making his drive to the rim. He does not shy away from contact as he’s added a lot of strength to his frame over the past 7 years. Giannis tends to seek out contact on is drives to clear additional space when driving. I wanted to show him then changing directions on additional drives to see how defenders react and how he sets them up. As a high level player at any level you need to do at least ONE THING that puts fear into your opponent. For Antetokounmpo, that is his ability to get to the basket and finish. Anytime he makes a drive to the basket there’s multiple defenders trying to stop him from getting to the rim. On his drives he can use that to his advantage with changing direction on the initial dribble. The glaring weakness in his game is his perimeter shooting where he only makes 30% from the 3PT Line and only a very below average 63% from the FT Line. He shows the ability to be able to make shots, but not consistently so using his drive game in half court situations only makes sense. He’s developing his jab game as I showed a few clips of his jab jumper and using that to open up his drive. From Breaking his film down he tends to favor the spin move on drives. His Ball Handling needs some additional work , but the spin is a move that seems to be very effective in changing direction on his drives.
The sky is the limit for Giannis, as he has the physical tools and the work ethic to continue his development. It is great to see what all of his hard work and dedication has brought him. The first thing that stands out is how he improved physically since getting drafted in 2013. That makes such a difference for a young NBA Player to be able to get stronger to be bale to compete with some of the Worlds top athletes. He’s won 2 MVP’s back to back and the scary thing is that he’s not even close to being finished with his development. If he can get to 37% from 3PT and 78% from the line, both numbers are within 2-3 year’s reach he can go down in history as one of the best players ever to play in the NBA. What this should teach athletic players that can get to the rim at will is to continue doing what works, but your perimeter game needs to get better at some point as the game isn’t up and down it will slow down to a half court game at some point. You need another skill to balance out your game.
The Hoop Consultants is a Basketball Consulting website that services mainly Grassroots and College Basketball coaches from all over the world. My name is Mike Procopio and I am the President of the company. The idea behind this website is to share as much content as possible to better the game at all levels.