With the 2013-14 NBA regular season right around the corner, it is the time of year to be making some bold predictions. One bold prediction for the Milwaukee Bucks that can be made is rookie guard/forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will be crowned the NBA Rookie of the Year.
Anyone who has followed Antetokounmpo during the preseason can attest that it may be a prediction that will turn out to be not so bold. The 18-year-old has impressed everyone in the organization, as people around the league will slowly become aware of what the native of Greece is capable of on the court.
It will all come down to how much playing time the Bucks are willing to give Antetokounmpo this season. The fact is the organization drafted him with the intention to have him sit and learn in his rookie season. However, he has demonstrated the ability to obtain knowledge quickly. Not to mention, his raw talent and high skill level have given Milwaukee the idea that they might need to find room for him to see some action right away.
The issue the Bucks will face is that small forward and both guard positions already have sufficient depth. Truth be told, Milwaukee could possibly have one of the best benches in the league when it is all said and done. Therefore, Antetokounmpo could struggle to find minutes.
With that being said, the Bucks will not be disappointed if they do decide to give Antetokounmpo some face time. The teenager is ranked in the top four on the team in three categories that will prove to be important for Milwaukee this season. He is second on the Bucks in steals (1.00) and blocks (1.67) per game, while he also is fourth in rebounds per contest (4.50).
It is no secret Milwaukee will have to use stellar defense in order to prove to be effective against opponents. They simply do not have a superior enough offense to contend with the high-powered teams. That means physical defense will be the way to go.
There is certainly plenty of potential among the several talented rookies this season. However, I believe Antetokounmpo could be among the top candidates if he is given the right opportunity. Although, the only way that will happen is if he emerges right away or there is an injury.