After missing most of his rookie season with a foot injury, Jabari Parker is establishing himself in his second season as a core part of Milwaukee's future. (Keith Allison/Flickr)

After missing much of his rookie season with a foot injury, Jabari Parker is establishing himself in his second season as a core part of Milwaukee’s future. (Keith Allison/Flickr)

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Although the Milwaukee Bucks fell well short of expectations this season, Frank Madden, founder and managing editor of SB Nation’s Brew Hoop, explains why the team essentially got what it was looking for with the development of young bucks/Bucks Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Frank provides more insight into the Greek Freak’s “weird athleticism,” Parker’s post-All-Star-break emergence and Greg Monroe’s tenuous fit on the roster. Head coach Jason Kidd’s second season at the helm is also discussed, among other topics. Highlights can be found below:

4:27-4:57 on Antetokounmpo’s recent dominance: 

“In spite of the fact that the last month in many ways has been one of his worst shooting months, it hasn’t mattered. He’s playing at a (high) level and with so much confidence in his ability to get to the rim and make plays for other people and get out in transition and use his size and length and weird athleticism. It’s just so overwhelming to most NBA defenders that it doesn’t matter if you play off him a little bit.”

12:55-13:22 on his overall assessment of the season:

“With the turnaround of Jabari and Giannis,you probably have gotten more or less what you wanted from a development standpoint, which I would argue is the most important thing from this season. But with the expectations coming from last year, there was a lot of hope that this team could certainly at least be a playoff team and maybe be better than that. And obviously for a lot of reasons – I think a lot of it dating to youth and maybe some of the pieces not fitting as well as you’d like.”

15:30-15:45 on Khris Middleton proving his worth after signing a five-year contract in the offseason:

“When you look at the group they have, with Giannis and Jabari, I think this year we’ve really seen Khris solidify himself as the third guy in this sort of new big three that people are looking at in Milwaukee. And certainly that contract is looking better and better.”

18:06-19:49 on Parker’s offensive evolution, particularly after the All-Star break: 

“Coming back from the All-Star break, just seeing him kind of re-energized. I don’t know if being around great players in Toronto and taking part in the Rising Stars Challenge…I don’t know if something flipped, if his confidence, his aggression came back a bit more, because I think that was one of the things about him the first half of the season: he seemed to be trying to figure out how to fit in. He was a guy that a lot of times just seemed to pass right back to a guard or hand it off as soon as he touched the ball and wasn’t trying to exploit mismatches…(Earlier in the season), Jabari’s kind of running around, looking like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to take too many shots. I don’t want to be selfish. I want to pass and do all this stuff,’ and I think Bucks fans are looking at him and thinking, “Hey, Jabari. It’s OK to shoot. You were drafted to shoot. That’s your skill. Do it…’ He’s a savant offensively. Stuff comes natural to him. I don’t know if he’s a super-high basketball IQ guy at this point, but he knows how to work the baseline, his off-ball cuts. He just understands how to play the game.”

21:26-21:38 on where Parker fits in the big picture: 

“I don’t think he’s in Giannis’ class in terms of overall upside, but certainly as a No. 2 guy he’s an exciting young guy to have and a major building block obviously for the franchise.”

24:20 – 25:11 on what has gone well for Jason Kidd: 

“His willingness to hand Giannis the ball and make that move. I don’t know how many coaches do that, right? I think that’s a certainly an encouraging thing… He clearly has a lot of gravitas with young players and his past as a player, and I think his style so far has generally been a very good thing. It certainly seems like guys like Giannis and Jabari have taken to him and give him the benefit of the doubt, which in this day and age is probably half the battle for coaches.

29:00-29:33 on Greg Monroe’s poor fit:

“He’s a guy that the Bucks have to see if they can move this summer just because of the fit questions. And I think a lot of it ties to Jabari – really on both ends – but especially on the defensive end. Even if Jabari is playing small forward defensively, hiding two guys like that, especially when one of them is the center who’s…the fulcrum of the defense…if you don’t read things really well or if you don’t have sort of those innate physical abilities as a rim protector, it’s just very difficult, especially in this system and the movement it requires to really make a positive impact.”

34:56-35:32 on Rashad Vaughn’s historically miserable campaign: 

“He moves his feet well on defense; I think he has potential on that side. He’s got a gorgeous shot. But I mean, you look at the numbers: he’s having one of the worst rookie seasons, not just of any rookie this year, but (in) Bucks history, there are not many guys who have played as many minutes as he has and have been as unproductive as he has. I think his P.E.R. is sub-4, he’s shooting 30 percent at the rim or something like that, 29 percent overall. It’s just been a disaster season. He clearly has talent. He’s a guy with pedigree. He was a McDonald’s All-American, and he scored a lot at UNLV. I don’t know if he’s gonna be more than a rotation player in the NBA.”

Music: “Who Likes to Party?” by Kevin MacLeod