Giannis Antetokounmpo is undeniably one of the NBA’s rising stars. The 24-year old has already won an MVP award and led his team to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. This year, he can be even better.
Antetokounmpo won the MVP after averaging 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists. He also shot nearly 58 percent from the field. His averages in these categories were all career-highs and helped him remain on top of the MVP rankings. He and James Harden of the Rockets were the leading candidates, and fans and media alike went back and forth on who should win MVP. However, Antetokounmpo was the one to go home with MVP honors.
Antetokounmpo is an exceptional player, whose size and athleticism help him score with ease. When it comes to getting to the basket, Antetokounmpo is nearly unstoppable. It is an aspect within his game that makes him dangerous. And considering his age, he will only get better.
When it comes to star players, they are constantly finding ways to improve their game. While Antetokounmpo is exceptionally skilled near the basket, there is an aspect he can work on (and wants to work on). He wants to work on his 3-point shooting.
Last season, Antetokounmpo shot 25.6 percent from 3-point range and 30.2 percent on jump shots overall. His 3-point percentage in 2018-19 was his lowest since 2015 when he shot nearly 16 percent from deep. So, there is plenty of room to grow.
Antetokounmpo has made it clear he wants to be a better shooter and is turning to a 3-point marksman: his new Bucks teammate Kyle Korver.
When asked about Korver, Antetokounmpo spoke on his desire to learn from him.
“It’s really important [that] I always try to talk to him a little bit,” Antetokounmpo said of Korver, “And he’s a great guy. He’s not trying to get in your head or overstep and talk too much to you. Whenever he gives me tips, I always try to listen … one of the best shooters to ever play the game.”
This summer, Korver signed a one-year deal with the Bucks. The Bucks are Korver’s 6th team, as he recently finished up his second stint with the Utah Jazz. Korver is one of the league’s best shooters and continues to contribute to any team he plays for. Korver has shot 42.9 percent in his career and has made 2,351 3-point field goals in his career. If Antetokounmpo can learn from anyone, it is Korver.
Antetokoumpo has the drive and motivation to become better. One of the ways he can improve is by working on his jump shooting. If he can learn from Korver, and become a legitimate (3-point) shooter, the rest of the league is in trouble. It is only a matter of time before that is a reality.
Featured Image courtesy of Michael Dwyer/Associated Press