Giannis Antetokounmpo to be Bucks' primary ball handler in 2016-17

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Giannis Antetokounmpo will have a permanent role on the court next season: handling the ball.

Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd said after Tuesday's practice that his young, emerging star will be the team's full-time point guard in 2016-17 after playing a variety of positions this season.

"We're going to go forward with him handling the ball," Kidd told reporters, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "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."

The 6-foot-11Antetokounmpo, affectionately known as the Greek Freak, transitioned from small forward to point guard at the beginning of February and has seen his game take off. The 21-year-old has four triple-doubles since Feb. 20, and is averaging 19.0 points, 7.3 assists and 7.4 rebounds in March.

"I think Giannis has done a great job," Bucks center Miles Plumlee told reporters, according to the Journal Sentinel. "He's going to learn the looks, the reads. He's going to understand the game better next year.

"It's a lot to learn. I know the easiest thing is to put your head down and go score, which he's great at. But he's been finding guys. I don't think he's even realizing what he's doing yet. When he really figures it out, he's going to be really special."

Kidd said the permanent change will take place immediately (the Bucks have eight games left) and continue into the offseason.

"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."

Antetokounmpo is in his third season. He was a first-round pick of the Bucks in 2013.

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