Giannis Antetokounmpo logged his highest minute total in nearly a month in the Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 4 win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. The only time he really came off the floor was early in the first quarter, which also happened in Game 3. According to Giannis, that was when nature called.
Antetokounmpo was asked after Game 4 about missing time early in the first quarter. He hilariously explained that he had to “tinkle.”
Giannis is coming off a knee injury, so some have wondered if his early rest in games has been an indication that the knee is bothering him. If that is the case, his stats don’t reflect it. Antetokounmpo has averaged 32.3 points and 14 rebounds in four NBA Finals games thus far. He has also played an average of 39 minutes per game.
The Bucks have now evened the NBA Finals at 2-2 after losing the first two games. One of the biggest plays Giannis made in Game 4 came on defense with this massive blocked shot.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s defense has been picked on at times during the NBA playoffs, but he came up with a huge play at the right time on Wednesday night.
Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks had just taken a 101-99 lead in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on a jumper by Khris Middleton. The Phoenix Suns came back down, and Devin Booker tried to toss an alley-oop to Deandre Ayton. The shot could have tied the game, but Giannis skied to break up the exchange with a block.
The block was recognized as a huge play in the game. Even though Milwaukee was unable to score on its next possession, they seized control thereafter and won 109-103.
Pat Connaughton’s 3-pointer to give Milwaukee the lead with three minutes left was a game-changer. Giannis’ block sealed it. Those criticisms about his defense now seem so distant.
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams was not pleased with the officiating in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, but Giannis Antetokounmpo says he has the marks to prove he deserved every foul call he got.
After his team’s 120-100 loss on Sunday night, Williams mentioned how the Suns shot 16 free throws total and “one guy” on the Milwaukee Bucks shot 17. That guy was Giannis. When asked on Tuesday about Williams’ criticism of the officiating, Antetokounmpo implied that the whistles stem from how aggressive Phoenix players have been with him.
“I don’t follow quotes after the games from coaches. But I think I take a pretty good beating out there,” Giannis said, via USA Today’s Mark Medina. “I have a scratch here and a scratch there. They’re making my pretty face ugly.”
Giannis has been struggling with his free throw shooting in the postseason, so putting him at the line isn’t a bad strategy. Though, most of his problems seem to stem from being heckled on the road.
Many people felt the Suns were destined to lose Game 3, and a lot of that had to do with who the head referee was. Giannis is the type of player who will always draw plenty of foul calls, but Williams obviously wants to see his team at the line more in Game 4.
The opportunity to play with Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the main reasons Bobby Portis signed with the Milwaukee Bucks last offseason, but the big man isn’t quite ready to think about how he might describe “The Greek Freak” to his kids.
Portis scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Milwaukee’s win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. Antetokounmpo, who returned from a knee injury not too long ago, scored a game-high 41 points. After the game, a reporter asked Portis how he will look back in 30 years on what Giannis is accomplishing right now. Portis had a hilarious reaction.
Portis is 26, and he joked that he isn’t quite ready to start thinking about himself at age 56.
“30 years? I’m 26 now, I’d be 56. I ain’t even trying to think about 56, I ain’t gonna lie,” Portis said. “I’m just saying, I’m 26. Damn, what ya’ll trying to put 30 on me already?”
Of course, Portis went on to praise Giannis for his incredible skill and leadership.
Portis has played a key role for the Bucks this season, and they’ll need him to continue to contribute in the NBA Finals. Perhaps he would be more comfortable waiting until after the series to reflect.
If Kendrick Perkins is looking to go viral for making absolutely ridiculous comments, he is succeeding.
Perkins, a former NBA center who is now an analyst for ESPN, has been critical of Giannis Antetokounmpo. He described Giannis as more of a “Robin” with Khris Middleton operating as the “Batman” for the Milwaukee Bucks this postseason. Perkins says that Antetokounmpo has lacked a “Batman” mentality, meaning he is not trying to take over and dominate. Instead, he believes Giannis has been content letting Middleton take over.
The comments are silly.
Giannis is an awesome player, but nobody can carry a team by themselves. Kobe needed Shaq and then Pau Gasol to win. LeBron James needed multiple All-Stars surrounding him in Miami, Cleveland and LA to win. Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen. So ripping someone for entrusting a talented teammate is silly. The comment looks even worse when Giannis, a week after suffering a knee injury, scores over 40 points in consecutive games during the NBA Finals.
Giannis’ Milwaukee Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 120-100 in Game 3 on Sunday night, completely reshaping the way the NBA Finals now look. And Perkins was actually complimentary of Antetokounmpo after the game.
But now you can understand why another NBA player has called Perkins a “clown.”
Jae Crowder had a funny answer to a question about Giannis Antetokounmpo on Thursday.
Crowder’s Phoenix Suns beat Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks 118-108 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. They got the win despite Giannis scoring 42 points with 12 rebounds.
Crowder was asked a somewhat odd question after the game. He was asked what more the Bucks can do if they lose even when Giannis scores so many points. He said he wasn’t looking to give them advice because he’s trying to beat them.
Well, duh. He wasn’t the best person to ask that question to.
As for the Bucks, it doesn’t help that Antetokounmpo only went 11-for-18 on free throws. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday shooting a combined 12-for-37 (32.4 percent) didn’t help either. Maybe getting more from them and better free throw shooting is all they need.
Heading to Milwaukee for Games 3 and 4 should make a big difference.
Are we really sure that Giannis Antetokounmpo has a knee injury? Because it sure was hard to tell based on some of the plays he made in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.
Antetokounmpo was listed as doubtful for Game 1 due to his knee, and then he was termed a game-time decision. He was ultimately cleared to play in the game. Antetokounmpo was impressively able to play just a week after hyperextending his knee in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Hawks. Antetokounmpo missed Games 5 and 6 of that series but ended up playing in Game 1, and he looked pretty good.
Take a look at this incredible chasedown block he had before halftime:
What a play!
To be clear, my headline and intro sentence are sarcastic. I am not in the least bit questioning the severity of the injury; I’m trying to heighten the sense of how athletic Giannis looks, which is an incredible tribute to his medical recovery and the Milwaukee Bucks’ medical team.
All eyes are on Giannis Antetokounmpo ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, and it sounds like the Milwaukee Bucks star has a decent chance to return from his injury.
The Bucks announced on Monday that Antetokounmpo was doubtful for Game 1 due to the knee injury he suffered in the Eastern Conference Finals. On Tuesday, he was upgraded to questionable.
That is obviously a positive sign for the Bucks. A report last week claimed Giannis was trending toward playing in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals if the series got that far, but the Bucks eliminated the Atlanta Hawks in six games. That gave Giannis several extra days to recover.
Antetokounmpo suffered a hyperextended knee against the Hawks, and the diagnosis came as somewhat of a relief given how the injury looked. It goes without saying that the Bucks want Giannis available for the entire NBA Finals, despite what Charles Barkley may think.
Charles Barkley offered a surprising comment about Giannis Antetokounmpo on Saturday night.
Barkley was providing analysis after the Milwaukee Bucks won Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. The panel of TNT analysts were to give their NBA Finals pick.
Barkley went with the Bucks depending on Antetokounmpo’s health. He offered a surprising comment about Giannis’ injury at that time.
“I hate to say this. I think the best thing that happened to the Milwaukee Bucks was Giannis getting hurt,” Barkley said.
Barkley then explained his reasoning. Antetokounmpo getting hurt made other players on the team step up, he said.
“Because they have unleashed Jrue Holiday — the aggressive Jrue Holiday. I think he is going to be fantastic in the Finals against Chris Paul. If Giannis is 85-90 percent, I’m going to go with Milwaukee.”
Barkley has been backing the Bucks all season and they finally have reached the NBA Finals. Maybe not having Giannis forced other players to step up against Atlanta. But they will need Antetokounmpo healthy in order to beat the Suns.
The Milwaukee Bucks are hopeful they can finish off the Atlanta Hawks in six games, but if not, they might get a boost for Game 7.
According to Chris Hayes of Yahoo Sports, there is a belief that injured forward Giannis Antetokounmpo could be cleared for Game 7 if the Eastern Conference Finals go that long. Game 6 appears less likely.
Antetokounmpo is listed as doubtful for Saturday’s Game 6. He has not played since suffering a hyperextended knee in Game 4. Amid fears that the injury could be a serious one, the Bucks got some good news about his status going forward even before this latest report.
The other good news is this would seem to indicate that Antetokounmpo would have a chance of playing early on if the Bucks make the NBA Finals. They have to get past Atlanta first, and the Hawks could have some help coming their way for a do-or-die Game 6.