Giannis Says It's 'Scary How Good' Bucks Can Be If They Live Up to Expectations

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2019

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, left, drives to the basket against Minnesota Timberwolves' Robert Covington during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

The rest of the NBA is officially on notice.

Giannis Antetokounmpo said it is "scary how good we can be" when talking about the Milwaukee Bucks heading into the regular season, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN.com. His comments came after Milwaukee completed an undefeated preseason with a convincing 118-96 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"Just the habits that we built these five games, I think defensively the way we played, we were really active as a team covering for one another, but going 5-0 doesn't mean nothing," he added.

That he highlighted defensive habits is notable since Milwaukee was best in the league in defensive rating last season, per NBA.com. It was also fourth in offensive rating, underscoring how effective it was on both ends of the floor while earning the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

There is plenty to like about the Bucks outside of the fact that Kawhi Leonard—who stood in their way in the East while on the Toronto Raptors—is now in the Western Conference.

Antetokounmpo has a year of experience in Mike Budenholzer’s system under his belt and has even more shooting around him after Milwaukee added Kyle Korver. Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton and Korver can space the floor and take advantage of the openings playing alongside Antetokounmpo inevitably creates.

The reigning MVP stuffed the stat sheet in Thursday’s game with 26 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals and appears to only be getting better at 24 years old.

"As I move on into the regular season, usually I get better," Antetokounmpo said. "I learn how guys guard me, I learn how my teammates want the ball and it gets easier. Obviously, you get mentally and physically tired, but it gets way better. I feel real good."

Milwaukee opens its regular season next Thursday against the Houston Rockets.

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