Giannis Antetokounmpo explains why double-teaming rarely works anymore

2023-03-26T13:37:55+00:00 2023-03-26T13:39:56+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

26/Mar/23 13:37

The increasing willingness of NBA stars to pass the ball has made double-team an inefficient plan according to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

By Eurohoops team/

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo explained why the double-team against big men like Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid isn’t that much of an effective strategy anymore.

“You can still guard them,” Giannis said when asked if it’s harder to guard players such as Jokic and Embiid with a double team while their teammates can do damage, especially with their shooting. “But I feel like guys this time especially like Embiid and Jokic. before four-five years you would double team them and they wouldn’t pass the ball. And now they are willing to pass the ball. they get their teammates in a position to be successful. That’s basically the answer to the test. If you get double-teamed if you can find your teammate for the open shot.”

Jokic had 31 points plus nine assists in the Denver Nuggets’ win over the Bucks and – yes – he often punished the double-team that his opponents sent at him. Giannis scored 31 points of his own while grabbing nine rebounds.

Antetokounmpo then used the Bucks‘ games vs. the Chicago Bulls this season and his team’s defensive plan against guard DeMar DeRozan as an example as to why it’s always more difficult to guard a talented scorer when he also looks to find his teammates and can send passes to them.

“DeRozan. We played against DeRozan against the playoffs last year and we kind of double teamed him and he was looking to score the ball and shoot over guys,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “This year we played them three times and they beat us twice so far. And he’s passing the ball. And his teammates are pretty successful in making shots.”

Indeed. DeRozan had eight assists (apart from 36 points) when the Bulls beat the Bucks 118-13 in November and dished out five dimes when his team got an overtime win over Milwaukee on 28/12.

“So it’s just harder,” Giannis concluded. “When there are guys  who can look over themselves and are capable and willing passers, it’s just harder to guard. Because when you get up to them hey can find the open guy… they’re going to break your defense. Something is going to happen.”