Yes, Giannis Is Helping The Bucks Lead The NBA In Threes
Giannis started the game against the Raptors by hitting a pull-up jumper. And then, a straight-on three-pointer.
He did not make another one from beyond the arc the rest of the game, missing his next two. With that, his three-point accuracy for the season bumped up to… 11.9 percent.
Which leads us to a rich dichotomy: The Bucks have transformed into a three-point powerhouse — they lead the NBA in threes made this season and are on pace to make the third-most threes of any team in any season ever, after ranking 27th in the league last season — while being led by a superstar who ranks 374th in the league in long-range accuracy. He ranks just below an individual named Thomas Bryant there!
Make no mistake though, Giannis is a crucial part of the three-point revolution in Milwaukee.
In their win in Toronto, he led the Bucks with six assists, and four of those assists were on three-point makes. On the possession after hitting his one three of the game, Giannis posted up Kawhi and used that to kick out to Middleton for a free look.
In the second quarter, on a runout he found Snell in rhythm.
A minute later, he gave Brogdon an open three after commanding a triple-team.
With the game tied late in the third quarter, Giannis glided down the line, and if you pause it before he passes, right here —
You can see that he has opened up a three for literally any of his teammates on the court. He chose Brown in the corner, who obliged.
These are just the direct assists, the most obvious examples of how Giannis helps give his teammates threes.
As a team this season, the Bucks only have shot slightly better on threes in terms of accuracy with Giannis on the court, but he is out there for most of those league-leading triples, and the sheer volume — the Bucks are hoisting 40 threes per game — is made possible in part because of him.
Giannis leads the team in secondary assists, also known as hockey assists (and he led all players in the Raptors game, with two), but he does not even need to touch the ball to bend the court and create space, like when he he dove toward the rim and brought with him seemingly every Raptor in sight, to help clear Brogdon for one of the biggest hits of the game.
(By the way, credit is due to Brogdon for knocking in a ridiculous 48.0 percent from long range this year. Given his hot start this season from deep, he was due to miss a couple there at the end, and it would have been hard to blame him. Instead, he keeps hitting.)
In the win in Toronto, Giannis hauled in 19 rebounds for the best rebounding team in the NBA. He added a couple more signature dunks to his all-time tally (he is on pace to shatter the single-season dunk record). He helped hold the team with the best record in the NBA (and the third-best offense in the NBA) to under 100 points at home for the first time this season. He is playing like an MVP, but he is not playing like he is playing for merely an MVP.