Gilbert Arenas doesn’t think that Giannis Antetokoumpo deserved the NBA’s MVP award.
“I’m just going to be blunt, I don’t think he should have won it this year,” Arenas told NBA scribe, Landon Buford.
When the voting came in, it was a race between Giannis and The Beard, James Harden.
The Greek Freak, won many people over with his style of play during the NBA’s regular season including Dallas Mavericks assistant coach, God Shammgod.
“Arguably, the best player in the league,” he said.
“Doesn’t shoot jumpers. The Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo. I know for a fact that Milwaukee works on dribbling every day and to Giannis’ point, everyone can see that he has made an improvement in dribbling and shooting. Even Anthony Davis is doing “The Shammgod.” So, someone is teaching him how to dribble. I think there are coaches around the league helping players to get better, and I see myself in that category.”
Gilbert Arenas spent eight years with the Washington Wizards. During those years he went toe to toe with LeBron James during his first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Arenas averaged 25 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game.
The Greek Freak didn’t impress him this season. “The reason I say that is because he averaged 27 and ten last year and 27 and 12 this year and shot worse from the free-throw line this season,” Agent Zero told Landon Buford.
“His impact didn’t do anything. “It’s the team I felt got better.
For those keeping score at home: The last time the Bucks finished with 60 or more wins was during the 1980-81 season. At that time, the Bucks were led by Sidney Moncrief, Bill Lanier, and Marques Johnson.
“They add depth to their roster with Lopez and other offensive pieces to help spread the floor,” said Arenas.
“Giannis didn’t do anything different, while the team got better, and they won more games. That shouldn’t be the criteria for MVP.”
Two seasons ago, the Bucks were scrapping and fighting just to stay above .500 with Jason Kidd as head coach. Mike Budenholzer took over and it’s a brand new ball game.
During the NBA’s regular season, this season, the Bucks were top ten in assists per game, first in points per game, second in blocks per game, first in rebounds per game, third in field goal percentage and second in three-pointers made per game. “I didn’t win an MVP,” said Arenas.
“But I was mentioned in the race because my team got better. Now, on the other hand, you have a guy, who won last year averaging 30 points, and then he averaged 36 this year.”
Insert James Harden.
In the regular season, the Houston Rockets were dangerous behind the strong play of James Harden, the league’s leading scorer.
Harden ignited the Rockets and is the reason players like as Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker and Kenneth Faried thrive in the team’s offense. He had the highest usage in the league (39.3 percent) but also ranked No. 12 in the league in assists per game.
During the regular season, the Rockets relied on making three-pointers or scoring easy buckets at the rim, particularly out of the pick-and-roll and are truly an analytics-era team.
The Houston Rockets led the league during the regular season in three-pointers attempted per game (45.4) and three-pointers made (16.1).
The Rockets benefitted from Harden’s ability to score and facilitate and benefit from having one of the best offenses in the league.
If their offense is in top form, they’re a tough team to beat.
In the NBA Playoffs, Houston lost in Game 6 to a Kevin Durant-less Golden State Warriors team.
The Bucks lost to the eventual NBA Champion, Toronto Raptors in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals.
Bleacher Report columnist and FS1 analyst, Ric Bucher echoed some of Arenas’ thoughts on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.“The idea of them coming out of the East, I just, I don’t know that he’s quite ready for that,” Bucher told me.
“Ultimately it ends up weighing on your best player. That’s where you’re going to go. And if Giannis isn’t your go-to guy, well Khris Middleton has been a great scorer. Is he the guy? Is he the guy who’s going to get you a bucket with the game on the line? A playoff game or a playoff series on the line? That’s the missing element that I see with the Bucks and it becomes a very important one when you get to the postseason.”
Arenas added more color inside the coloring book lines on The Greek Freak.
“He gave everyone the thought that this team could compete for an NBA Championship,” he told Landon Buford.
“And his output this year was better than last year. He is not a guy who hid between a record. It is not Giannis’ fault, but you averaged 27 points and ten, do the same thing this year, but your team wins 15 more games this season. So, it is obviously not you.”
That ‘not you’ could be more people who needed to score the basketball this season.
Insert Khris Middleton.
Middleton averaged 18.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists in 77 games this past season.
This summer, Middleton signed a five-year deal with the Bucks worth $178 million.
In addition to re-signing Middelton this summer, the Bucks also re-upped with center Brook Lopez.
The Bucks also added his twin brother, Robin Lopez to their roster.
The last time the two were a packaged deal, the brothers were teammates at Stanford University in 2007 and were eventual first-round picks in the 2008 NBA Draft.