Milwaukee Bucks fans will see something they haven’t seen in more than a decade on February 19: They will see a player from their team playing in the NBA All-Star Game. Giannis Antetokounmpo will be a starter for the East squad in the game, making him the first Bucks player to play in the NBA All-Star Game since Michael Redd in 2004.
In that 2004 game, Redd tallied 13 points. Since that game in ’04, Bucks players have not scored a point in the All-Star Game. During that same timeframe, two teams, Miami and Oklahoma City, had players who scored over 300 points in the game. The Heat led the way with 368 points, while OKC/Seattle franchise players during that time had 337 points.
Following are the number of points scored by players from each NBA franchise in the NBA All-Star Game from 2005 to 2016 (current franchise city is listed).
Oklahoma City: 337
L.A. Lakers: 218
L.A. Clippers: 168
New York Knicks: 142
San Antonio: 142
New Orleans: 86
Golden State: 79
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Sixteen games does not a season make, but if the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo continues with his play that has highlighted the start of the 2016-17 season, he could be well on his way to getting people to forget he’s that player with the difficult name and instead, he’ll be known as one of the young superstars in the NBA.
“The Greek Freak” on Tuesday, Nov. 29 played 34 minutes and scored 34 points with 12 rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocked shots against the World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers in the Bucks 118-101 win. While many NBA fans and pundits are drooling over the outlandish numbers Russell Westbrook has been putting up for the Oklahoma City Thunder (30.9 points per game, 10.3 rebounds per game, and 11.3 assists per game), Antetokounmpo has been not-so-quietly putting up numbers that are pretty rare in NBA circles. In fact, if he stays on pace, he could produce one of the most incredible statistical seasons in league history.
After 16 games this season, G.A. is averaging 22.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.1 blocked shots per game. He is one of only three players who currently are averaging 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game (the others are the aforementioned Westbrook and LeBron James). There have been 36 times in league history that a player went 22-8-5 in those categories.
While that stat is impressive, if you add in two defensive stats to the three offensive stats we noted (points, rebounds and assists) you’ll see G.A. is taking his game to another level.
Consider this: There have been only three players in NBA history to average 22 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals per game in a season… Scottie Pippen (1993-94), Michael Jordan (1988-89) and Larry Bird (1985-86). G.A. would become the fourth member of this group if he maintains his stats.
But wait, there’s more. Add in two blocked shots per game. No player has ever averaged 22 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocked shots in an NBA season. Those are numbers that G.A. is carrying 16 games into this season.
Can “The Greek Freak” maintain these numbers? That’s the key question. If he does, he is setting himself up for a season that will go unmatched in league history.
The Milwaukee Bucks have gotten off to a respectable 3-2 start and their best player through these first five games has been Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis is averaging a team-high 24.0 points per game (ppg), leads the team in assists, and is tied (with Greg Monroe) for the team-lead in rebounds.
There is still a lot of season to be played, but let’s forecast a little. If Giannis keeps up this pace for the season, especially when it comes to points scored, he could become the first Bucks player to average 25 or more points per game in a season since Michael Redd did it in 2006-07.
Over the course of the Bucks history, there has been only nine times when a player averaged 25 or more points for the team in a campaign: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it six times with the team, and he holds the team record for highest ppg average at 34.8 in 1971-72. In fact, Jabbar has the top six ppg in Bucks history.
Here’s a look at the nine times when a Bucks player averaged 25.0 or more ppg in a season.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1971-72, 34.8
Jabbar, 1970-71, 31.7
Jabbar, 1972-73, 30.2
Jabbar, 1974-75, 30.0
Jabbar, 1969-70, 28.8
Jabbar, 1973-74, 27/0
Michael Redd, 2006-07, 26.7
Marques Johnson, 1978-79, 25.6
Redd, 200-5-06, 25.4
Let’s drop the ppg down a little for another stat. When it comes to Bucks players who have averaged 20 or more points per game in a season (minimum of 41 games played), there have been 44 times in team history that a player ended the season averaging 20 points or more. Eleven different players have reached this milestone for the team. Leading the way is Glenn Robinson who averaged 20.0 or more points per season seven times with the Bucks.
Here are the Bucks players who averaged 20 or more points in a season.
Glenn Robinson, 7 seasons
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 6 seasons
Marques Johnson, 5 seasons
Michael Redd, 5 seasons
Ray Allen, 4 seasons
Terry Cummings, 4 seasons
Sidney Moncrief, 4 seasons
Bobby Dandridge, 3 seasons
Vin Baker, 2 seasons
Ricky Pierce, 2 seasons
Flynn Robinson, 2 seasons
Will Giannis join the group with a 25.0 ppg season in 2016-17? Or will he become the 12th player to average 20 or more in a season for the Bucks?
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