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Will Jason Kidd’s Move to Make Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo a Permanent PG Succeed?

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Magic Johnson 2.0 maybe?

The comparison is a stretch, but if Giannis Antetokounmpo can put efficient pressure on defenses handling the ball on a full-time basis, the NBA is going to be in trouble.

Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd announced after Tuesday's practice that the "Greek Freak" will be the team's starting point guard next season, according to CBS Sports.

“We’re going to go forward with him handling the ball,” Kidd said. “You can call him point guard, point forward, point center, however you want to look at it.

“With him having the ball and the pressure he puts on the defense and his ability to find guys, has been a plus for us.”

I think watching the 21-year-old superstar post four triple-doubles since Feb. 20, and almost average a triple-double with averages of 19.0 points, 7.3 assists and 7.4 rebounds in March, made Michael Carter-Williams a permanent sixth man.

Giannis will start at point guard for the next eight games, and going forward. Kidd acknowledged that Giannis will cause nightmares for opposing guards on both ends of the court, while freeing up room for Jabari Parker’s game to expand to a superstar level as well.

“He has a skill set that he can guard smalls and bigs,” Kidd said. “Being able to guard the 4s or the wing players is something he can do.

“For Jabari [Parker] and him, the more they play together, the more we can get answers of what they both can do on the floor, both defensively and offensively. We’ve got a lot of answers to some different questions.

“They’re going to get better over the summer. And it’s putting the pieces around them that can make them better and push them to become better.”

It’s a huge gamble, but a lineup of Giannis, an upgrade over O.J. Mayo at shooting guard, Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton and Greg Monroe could be formidable and cause matchup problems in the Eastern Conference.

Even with Mayo at shooting guard, the Bucks would trot out a tall, athletic lineup with no starter being under 6-foot-4.

Will he be an offensive juggernaut along the lines of Curry, Westbrook, Kyrie, Lillard or the other handful of special point guards in the NBA?

We don’t know that yet, but what is evident is Giannis’s Russell Westbrook-like ability to go at an opposing point guard and put up a crazy stat line like his 28-point, 14-assist, 11-rebound, four-steal and two-block performance in Brooklyn two weeks ago.

No, the Nets don’t have an elite point guard, but there aren’t to many elite point guard in the NBA. Also, not too many of the greats will be able to stop him from getting to where he needs to be when he’s on the break, the wing or utilizing a pick-and-roll and the top of the set with Jabari Parker.

At that point, it’s pick your poison:

Milwaukee is just 10-12 since he took over the role, but the sky is definitely the limit for a point-forward who’s months removed from being able to drink legally.

-- Glenn Erby

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