Knicks HC David Fizdale: Giannis 'Right Now' Is 'The Best Player in the League'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 1, 2018

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 28:  Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks handles the ball during a game against the Chicago Bulls at Fiserv Forum on November 28, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale offered lofty praise for Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo on Saturday, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic:

Arguing with Fizdale seems fruitless, given how Antetokounmpo has played. Through 20 games, the 23-year-old is averaging 27.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks. Leading into the Knicks-Bucks battle Saturday, Antetokounmpo had also guided Milwaukee to a 15-6 record and second-place Eastern Conference standing.

Per Gilles Gallant of OddsShark, Antetokounmpo was also the clear NBA MVP favorite as of November 12 with +150 odds (bet $100 to win $150). Since that date, the sixth-year pro has gotten better, with 30.1 points on 62.0 percent shooting and 12.8 rebounds per night.

According to Basketball ReferenceAntetokounmpo is also tied with Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry for first in the league in player efficiency rating at 28.9.

The scariest part of Antetokounmpo's game may be his offensive efficiency, as he's improved his field-goal rate from 52.9 to 57.7 percent since last season. While he isn't a threat from behind the three-point line, that's irrelevant given his significant impact in all other areas.

On defense, Antetokounmpo is eighth among 91 qualified power forwards in defensive real plus-minus, which may cement him as the game's best two-way player.

Given his youth, Antetokounmpo has time to develop further. Soon enough, there may be no debate regarding the league's best player.

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