With 34 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists on average over seven tough innings against Boston, including three 40-point games against a Boston defense that had conceded as many throughout the regular season, Giannis Antetokounmpo did not however managed to carry his Bucks to the conference finals.
But, the first player in the history of the League to accumulate 200 points, 100 rebounds and 50 assists in a series of playoffs, the “Greek Freak” was not unworthy. With another 25 points, 20 rebounds and 9 assists last night, it’s not for lack of trying…
“Heavy legs. The heavy body. Heavy mind. Everything was heavy”he explained on ESPN after the match, always with a smile. “I tried to be aggressive. In the end, it’s a Game 7 and I wasn’t going to hold the ball and not attack the circle. I prefer to miss a bunch of shots and keep playing and keep attacking. I wanted to involve my teammates and make the right choices. I can live with that. »
With 17 points at 6/10 in the first half, Giannis Antetokounmpo was on the right track. But, harassed by the C’s defense, between Al Horford, Daniel Theis and the inevitable Grant Williams, the Greek star of the Bucks ended up cracking, at 4/16 for only 8 points in the second half.
Sign of the physical wear that the MVP of the last Finals has known, he who even missed several layups.
“I don’t think I backed down from the physical game. In none of the matches. Despite adversity, I kept coming back. This is my identity, this is how I am built. And I enjoyed [ce défi]. I really think it made me better. We progress through experience. »
“He was phenomenal”
Deprived of his faithful lieutenant, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo assumed his role as leader, with 25 shots attempted on average over the series. The last time a player had such a burden to bear offensively was a certain Allen Iverson in 2001!
“The way he evolved during the series, against a very good team defensively, against many very good defenders, it was one of those privileged moments to grow and show his greatness. He was phenomenal: his scoring, his offense, his creation, his selflessness,” adds Mike Budenholzer. “There are always times when we could have done better, where he could have done better but I was really impressed with his ability to adapt to attack, score, create play and be so productive. We didn’t manage to pass the obstacle but I was more than impressed by what he achieved throughout this series. »
Apart from Jrue Holiday, the Bucks could only count on two players off the bench, Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis, to really bring in attack. Held at 28% from 3-point collectively, the Bucks did not offer enough offensive variety around their “Greek Freak”…
“Obviously we’re not going to look for excuses. Everyone gave their all. That’s what we did from Game 3 against Chicago until Game 7 in Boston. If we had Khris, it could have been a different story. But this is not the case. »
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