Giannis Antetokounmpo will forever be remembered for his heroics in Game 6 of last year’s MVP Finals. His 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks helped his Milwaukee Bucks win the title in 2021, and put him firmly amongst the game’s legends.
He had a similar performance against the Indiana Pacers, who are admittedly a much less talented team than the Phoenix Suns that he faced last year. Still, he had 50 points, 14 rebounds and four assists while making 17 of 21 shots, along with 14 of 18 free throws. It’s always a trip to watch one of the game’s most dominant players get into a groove, and that’s exactly what he was on today.
Antetokounmpo is known for his unstoppable drives for the basket, but he has shown an improved jumper this season. For a man with as many athletic gifts as he has, adding more technical skills and hard-to-stop moves off the dribble is borderline unfair to the rest of the league.
It’s not like Giannis has suddenly become the second coming of Steph Curry, but his primary defenders must have nightmares before playing him when they start thinking of how he’s starting to show more confidence in his jumper.
The Greek Freak doesn’t need to become a dominant three-point shooter, but if he starts to sniff somewhere in the area of a 35% average from deep, then the added threat is going to open up the floor for him even more. He doesn’t even need to take a lot of them. He made two of three shots from beyond the arc against the Pacers and still did plenty of his damage inside.
The Bucks are heating up at the right time, too, especially in a hyper-competitive Eastern Conference. They hold the third seed in the Eastern Conference, and they’re definitely one of those teams that no one wants to face in the first round.
All I know is that the expanding offensive arsenal of someone who has already won two regular season MVPs is not going to be fun for the rest of the league to deal with. As a fan, though, it’s great to watch.