Milwaukee Bucks: Pros and cons of Giannis Antetokounmpo at center

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images /
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Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo Photo by Ashley Landis – Pool/Getty Images /

As the Milwaukee Bucks continue to use lineups with Giannis Antetokounmpo at the center position, we examine its advantages and disadvantages on the court.

Ever since the Milwaukee Bucks hired head coach Mike Budenholzer before the 2018-2019 NBA season, he’s occasionally opted to utilize league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo at the center position throughout games. As of now, it continues to be featured in the NBA playoffs during their first-round matchup against the Orlando Magic.

Giannis is naturally labeled as a power forward, but his unique qualities allow him to play fairly any position. He’s got excellent ball-handling skills for a guard, dominant strength, length and crafty footwork as a forward, and the appropriate height, frame, and elite rim-protecting ability for a center.

It must be a dream for a coach to have a player of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s caliber. There’s never been a more versatile asset that can display the amount of superstardom on both ends of the court regardless of position, and coach Budenholzer takes advantage of that, as he should. It can certainly support the strong argument that Giannis has as the frontrunner for both the MVP and DPOY awards this season.

Although, now that more and more teams are beginning to follow the trend of playing ‘small-ball’ basketball, especially the Houston Rockets — who have permanently implemented the small-ball philosophy into their system by not having any true centers in their current rotation — the Milwaukee Bucks have found it intriguing to put Giannis at the five while creating a small-ball lineup at times.

It has currently become a consistent part of the Bucks’ rotations, which has resulted in some advantages on one end of the floor, but a disadvantage on the other end. Here’s an in-depth analysis of how Giannis at center can be both a benefit and a risk on the court.