The arrival of Damian Lillard undoubtedly makes the Milwaukee Bucks a more dangerous team. However, there’s also no denying that they will miss the services of Jrue Holiday, who has now found himself with the Boston Celtics after being part of the Dame trade package.
As it turns out, however, Holiday’s exit could prove beneficial to Giannis Antetokounmpo in terms of his path to his second Defensive Player of the Year title.
Milwaukee Bucks Star Giannis Antetokounmpo Primed for DPOY Title
In their latest roundtable discussion, NBA analysts Yaron Weitzman, Melissa Rohlin, and Ric Bucher of Fox Sports provided their way-too-early predictions for the upcoming season’s individual awards. Unsurprisingly, Giannis stood out as the frontrunner for the DPOY title, which is an award he took home in 2020.
Weitzman argues that Antetokounmpo will now need to take a more substantial role in defense now that Holiday is no longer with the squad:
“Antetokounmpo won the award in 2020, and with Jrue Holiday no longer with the team, the Bucks are going to be leaning even more on him to defend some of the league’s top wing talents. If he does so as effectively as the Bucks seem to think he can, while protecting the rim from the weak side, he should be an easy pick for this award,” Weitzman wrote.
Rohlin echoed her colleague’s sentiments. She also pointed out that Lillard’s arrival will ease Giannis’ burden on offense, thereby giving him the opportunity to focus more on the other side of the ball:
“His offensive load will be lightened with Damian Lillard on the court, which will allow him to pour himself more into the defensive end. And without Jrue Holiday, he’ll obviously have to pick up some extra slack. Giannis is already an incredible defender, and if he refocuses his game to emphasize shot blocking, rebounding and altering shots, he could be the best in the league on that end of the court,” Rohlin wrote.
It’s not as if Antetokounmpo is happy to see Holiday go. After all, these two won a championship together a couple of years back. However, there is indeed a silver lining in Jrue’s departure. Whether or not it leads to Milwaukee winning another championship is an altogether different conversation, though. And you know that that’s all that matters for Giannis.
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