Point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo?


VIDEO: Sekou Smith interviews rising star Antetokounmpo

LAS VEGAS – Bucks coach Jason Kidd was asked about the point forward.

“The what?” Kidd responded, hearing the question just fine about Giannis Antetokounmpo handling the ball a lot more but not liking the position description.

OK. The point guard.

“Thank you,” Kidd said.

The Bucks and their new coach are not hiding it. They are not disguising the long look of Antetokounmpo initiating the offense as some test drive in the safety of summer league, not downplaying the Greek Freak with the ball in his hands,  some in the first game and a lot in the second, Monday night in Thomas & Mack Center against the Jazz, as Kidd experimenting to learn more about his players.

Milwaukee is serious about this for the regular season, maybe even as the starter at the point. Antetokounmpo is serious about this.

At the very least, even if the idea goes bad in 2014-15 and the Bucks stick with Brandon Knight and Nate Wolters as conventional decisions, it just became a long-term subplot in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo, having measured at 6-9 and 190 pounds last September and 6-10 ½ and 217 pounds at the end of the season, growing into a starting point guard, possibly and maybe even likely 6-11 by then. That doesn’t even get into imagining the day of the 7-foot point guard.

“We’ve seen it in practice, and so when you see a player’s comfort level with the ball no matter what size, we want to see it in game action and we slowly have started letting him have the ball and running the offense,” said Kidd, bound for the Hall of Fame as a point guard.

“With the group we have right now, with B-Knight and Giannis, we have additional playmakers and when we have that on the floor, it makes the game easy. We’ll see how the roster shakes out, but we’re not afraid to play him at the point, as you see.”

That was Monday night, after Antetokounmpo played a large portion of his 32 minutes at the point, registering five assists against four turnovers along with 15 points on six-of-16 shooting, and some with Wolters on the court. This is now officially an audition.

“Handling the ball, as time goes on, I feel more comfortable,” Antetokounmpo said.

He will get more time, here and almost certainly into training camp. The Bucks see the possibilities, from putting opponents in matchup hell to creating more versatility so the second-year player from Greece fits with Jabari Parker, the second pick in the draft who some teams think can be a small forward, Antetokounmpo’s primary position last season, or power forward.

Antetokounmpo at point guard and Knight at shooting guard would be a strain because neither have great range, but would work because Knight could defend the point guards and Antetokounmpo the bigger opponent in the backcourt. Then it could be Parker, Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders in the front court.

“Whatever coach wants me to do,” Antetokounmpo said. “If he tells me to do that, I’m going to do that. If he tells me to be on the wing and to be aggressive on the wing, I’ll be aggressive there.”

Perfect. Because the Bucks are thinking about an aggressive move at point guard.

26 Comments

  1. The 24 says:

    6th man, like young Odom, play all five positions

  2. Erik says:

    For those saying he wont be good at PG, you do realize he played PG until he grew 7 inches in a year right? He is more than capable as he hasn’t lost his ability to handle the ball with his growth. he has kept most of the skills and quickness needed to play as a guard.

  3. Pete says:

    I swear, I was watching some Bucks Summer league highlights last night and was thinking about what a scary lineup Giannis, Parker, Middleton, Henson and Sanders would be. And I was thinking how great Giannis looked at his ball-handling. He looks like Durant. IDK about anyone else, but from what I saw Parker looks more like a SG. He’s got better handle than I anticipated. But damn, he just LOOKS like Carmelo, doesn’t he? I’m really excited about the Bucks’ future. We got mini Carmelo and mini Durant. Just watch. Parker and Giannis will be the league’s best tandem in a few years.

  4. Floyd (from Australia) says:

    Jason Kidd is the best PG since Magic Johnson. If he thinks he can play PG, you would have to take his word on it. Would love to see it.

  5. Robert Contreras says:

    This reminds me of Ralph Samson who also dreamed of being a point-center.

  6. Dimitri Diamantidis never did make the decision to go to the NBA, but he is a 1.96cm guard, they are out there :D

  7. Macedonia says:

    And Middleton? He needs to be starter too

  8. awesome to see him run the point….they’ll be the tallest team on the league when that happens lol

  9. underdog says:

    wow it’s the dream.. I always wanted to make a 7-footer PG in NBA2K but the maximum height for the pg is 6’7″, it would be fun to see it in the NBA..

  10. PalmOil Preference says:

    He has the handle to be a PG just needs to be a more consistent positive decision maker which will come with time and comfort with the position. With this move Kidd will shake up the bottom of the NBA.

    Potential Lineup:

    Giannis A.
    Brandon Knight
    Jabari P
    Ilyasova
    Larry S.

    • DenH says:

      Ilyasova needs to go for henson to develop properly… bucks team is just brimming with potential.. they could be a smothering defensive team with crazy fast break athleticism and decent half court offense if they realise this potential.

  11. Lucky Star says:

    in the doldrums of last year I flipped on a bucks game, and lo and behold there was a 7 foot John Wall.

    He’s not being converted to PG. He played offball mostly last year, but PG is his natural position, offensively. He’s 6″11, athletic, and has crazy long arms. Think about that.

  12. borna says:

    so what happened to Mayo?

  13. Troy says:

    Giannis is a great player and I think he has the largest hands in the nba he has enormous potential and I’ve been keeping a close eye on him even with his limited minuets I love watching him play he has pretty good ball handling a developing three pointer and most of all he’s a wonderful dunker and I want to see him as a started even if it is at point guard more carries for him the better

  14. harrythehawk says:

    I think the Bucks will have a promising season this fall. Best wishes.

  15. birdie says:

    Great. Kidd ruins another promising career.

    • Bersem says:

      Another? Who is the other?
      Penny Hardaway and Jalen Rose were the latest “tall” PG since Magic Johnson…then they were more productive as SG
      Maybe Kidd decides to play him at the point because he doesn’t trust the creativity of Knight and Wolters? ?

  16. Joseph says:

    Magic Johnson was a 6’9 point guard, who knows Jason Kidd was a pretty good point gaurd when he played so if if he could teach the kid, this can become successful to where people can try to compare someone to Magic, like how people compare Lebron to MJ or how Kobe to MJ

  17. vinsanefan says:

    Magic “Giannis.” Although to be real I’m not convinced that he can be a legitimate point guard. He gives the Bucks some interesting options though, especially alongside Jabari who also has size and is a capable ball handler.

  18. A-Rod says:

    Are you serious? a 6’11” PG???

  19. OKC says:

    Now I’m usually all for the PG project, but come on… seriously Kidd? This will be the safest prediction I make all year, Giannis will not succeed as a PG lol.

    • Average Joe says:

      If the kid has talent at bringing the ball up the court and initiating the offense, I don’t see why he can’t succeed at being a pg. I doubt if you have even seen Giannis play. He’s got good instincts for a ball player. Could be someone on the top tier in the near future.

  20. European says:

    Damn, this kid…. Are you guys sure he’s not going to be the best player ever? He’s like what, 20 only? Can do wonderful things.

    • GJAP Kidd says:

      He has great potential, with a good head on his shoulders and the length to complement everything else. He is only 19, around same age as Parker.