Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is arguably the best basketball player on the planet. He has a global brand that has not only made him popular in the United States and his home country of Greece, but also various countries around the world.
If one were to follow his Twitter account, one would see that he is currently on a multi-day basketball tour of China, where he visiting school and expanding his brand.
Yet, for all of the recognition he gets, one could argue that the things he does on the court go underappreciated by fans, and certainly by MVP voters. Today, July 16, Giannis was trending on Twitter, and the top posts all highlighted various accomplishments that have gone largely overlooked by many.
Milwaukee Bucks Star Giannis Antetokounmpo Scores Frequently
Over the last five seasons, Giannis has averaged 32.8, 30.4, 33.0, 32.9, and 32.1 minutes respectively. Now, Giannis has not won a scoring title [yet], largely because he does not play nearly as many minutes as the players that do. If he did, the Greek Freak would be a multi-time scoring champion.
Just look at this interesting stat:
Most Points Per Minute in a Season
1. Wilt (1962) | 1.04
2. Harden (2019) | 0.98
3. Giannis (2020) | 0.97
4. Giannis (2023) | 0.97
Giannis is really the most underrated scorer in NBA History… pic.twitter.com/9v6UMFKW8k
— Bucks Muse (@BucksMuse) July 16, 2023
This past season, Giannis finished fifth in the NBA with 31.1 points per game. Joel Embiid won the scoring title (and the MVP) averaging 33.1 points per game. The big difference between the two, however, was that Embiid played 200 more total minutes than Giannis.
Had Giannis played as many minutes as Embiid, he would have scored 2,215 point, over 100 more than Embiid, and averaged 35.1 points per game.
The same exercise is true for 2019-20 season. Giannis, of course, was MVP that year while James Harden won the scoring title with 34.3 points per game. Giannis was fifth with 29.5 points per game while playing nearly six minutes per game less than Harden.
Had he played as many minutes as Harden, Giannis would have scored 2,408 points, over 100 more than Harden’s total, and averaged 38.2 points per game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Does Not Need Many Minutes Per Game to Win MVP’s
Giannis, of course, has won two NBA MVP Awards, winning in back-to-back seasons in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Those two seasons gave Giannis two of the four fewest minutes-per-game seasons by any MVP winner in NBA history:
Fewest minutes per game by an MVP:
30.4 – Giannis
32.7 – Curry
32.8 – Giannis
33.3 – Walton
8 of the last 10 MVPs are in the bottom 10 out of all MVPs for minutes per game. pic.twitter.com/cxI76J912g
— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 15, 2023
Interestingly, Giannis has been a MVP Finalist in each of the past three seasons, when he has averaged 33.0, 32.9, and 32.1 minutes per game. It will be interesting to see if new head coach Adrian Griffin uses him, because if his usage goes up, his numbers will be historic.