Freakishly Skilled

Why Giannis is One of the Most Adept Players in the NBA

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In recent years Giannis Antetokounmpo has been on the receiving end of a lot of unwarranted hate. Despite this, Giannis is still one of the most skilled players in the NBA.

In recent years there seems to be a growing trend among NBA fans, players and analysts of boarding the Giannis Antetokounmpo hate train for absolutely no good reason. Giannis Antetokounmpo is known for his strength and athleticism, two things that have allowed him to become the player he is today. But for whatever people seem to think that those attributes are the only reason he is successful which is simply not the case. Giannis is one of the most skilled players in the NBA right now for four main reasons.

1 – His Ball-Handling Ability is Impeccable at his height

Giannis wasn’t given the nickname The Greek Freak for no reason. Standing at 6-feet-11-inches tall and weighing in at 243 pounds, the man is literally an NBA demigod. In basketball it is widely known that the taller you are, the less coordinated you are and the less dribbling ability you have. That is why, for the most part, you see shorter players handling the ball and running the offense while taller players are positioned closer to the basket where they should be at their best. But when it comes to Giannis, you might as well just throw that whole line of thinking out the window. Giannis’ ball handling as a seven-footer is incredible, and this paired with his extreme athletic ability makes him a walking basketball cheat code. The fact that he is able to handle the ball so well makes him a match up nightmare. Put a post on him and Giannis will either blow by or dribble circles around them. Put anyone else on him and he will use his strength and height advantage to bully his way to the basket. The man is literally unguardable one-on-one and this is due in large part to his ball handling which, believe it or not, requires some skill.

2 – His Basketball IQ is Off the Charts

With his unstoppable size and athleticism, Giannis draws each team’s best defender in every game he plays. But Giannis is very good at digging into his bag of tricks and using the right move on the right defender at precisely the right time to still manage to drop 30 points on defensive player of the year contenders. He is fantastic at quickly reading his defender and using his basketball IQ to make split decisions that allow him to score in the most efficient way. It really isn’t a coincidence that no matter who you put on him, Giannis still finds a way to score, and I can assure you, that takes a lot of skill.

3 – He is an Underrated Passer

Giannis’ main way of scoring is driving to the basket and finishing at the rim. With this style of play, Giannis draws a lot of defenders who are forced to help guard him at the risk of him scoring an easy layup. But Giannis is very, very, very good at passing out of the double and triple teams that he faces on a nightly basis. He uses his aforementioned basketball IQ along with his sharp court vision to read where the help defense is coming from, finding his open teammate for a shot. Over the years, Giannis’ ability to make these kinds of passes around two or three defenders has only gotten better and better. It’s really quite unfortunate that people like to overlook the fact that he is such a good passer.

4 – His Defensive Instinct is Generational

Any casual NBA fan has probably seen the block Giannis had in the 2021 NBA finals that has since been dubbed the greatest block in finals history. Giannis had to help defend NBA all-star Devin Booker at the top of the key, and when Booker threw a lob pass to his center, Deandre Ayton, Giannis turned around and blocked what was supposed to be an easy dunk for Ayton in midair. You just don’t see defensive instinct and timing like that in today’s NBA. While it is true that defense at its simplest is purely effort, Giannis does some things on the defensive end that require an amount of skill and instinct that newer generations of NBA players lack. He didn’t win the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2020 for no reason. His timing on his blocks and his extraordinary ability to guard the perimeter as a post player is absolutely amazing to watch, and definitely makes him not only one of the most skilled, but also one of the most all-around players in the NBA.

Giannis has no ceiling on his potential, and although he will continue to grow, he is already one of the most skilled players in the NBA. So for all the people that like to hate on him and claim that all he does is run and dunk (James Harden I’m looking at you), please kindly put some respect on his name.