Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks send message to rest of NBA with impressive win over Joel Embiid and the 76ers

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks have not been the NBA’s hottest story this season. In actual fact, the reigning champions and reigning Finals MVP have sort of flown underneath the radar a bit, not less than in comparison with another groups and gamers from throughout the league’s panorama. 

A ton of ink has been spilled in regards to the championship benefit of lots of Milwaukee’s Jap Convention contemporaries — particularly the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics — and relating to the MVP dialog, Giannis hasn’t sometimes been the primary, second, and even third title talked about by most. As an alternative, the dialog has been dominated by the likes of Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Ja Morant and others. 

However, on Tuesday night time in Philadelphia in opposition to the Sixers, Giannis and the Bucks issued a stern reminder to the remainder of the league of simply how good they’re. The Bucks and Sixers entered the night tied for second within the Jap Convention standings with an similar 46-28 document, however when all was stated and completed, Milwaukee walked away with a 118-116 win and a one recreation lead over Philly within the standings.

In a recreation that felt prefer it might have taken place in April, Might, or June, and positively wasn’t quick on star energy, Antetokounmpo was the most effective participant on the ground. He put constant strain on Philadelphia’s protection and generated excessive proportion seems to be for himself again and again, no matter who was tasked with slowing him down. He had a few monstrous dunks (just like the one under) and in addition peppered in some stable taking pictures from the midrange.

In all, Antetokounmpo tallied 40 factors, 14 rebounds and 6 assists. It was the seventh straight highway recreation that he scored 30-plus whereas taking pictures over 50 p.c from the sphere — a mark that’s tied for the second longest such streak in NBA historical past. Solely Wilt Chamberlain had an extended streak, all the way in which again in 1961, per ESPN

Chamberlain got here in second in MVP voting that season, and there is a probability that Antetokounmpo will end equally this season. His efficiency on Tuesday night time ought to assist his trigger, although. Typically when a participant wins the award a few instances, voters get jaded (simply ask LeBron James, who ought to definitely have greater than 4 MVP Awards to his title), and that would work in opposition to Antetokounmpo. However for what it is value, his numbers are on par along with his two earlier MVP seasons. 

Antetokounmpo punctuated his efficiency in opposition to the Sixers with a game-sealing block on an Embiid try that may have tied the sport within the closing seconds of the competition.

It was the kind of play — and total efficiency — that might be interpreted as a message. What message? A “do not forget about me or my crew” message. In an Jap Convention that’s as deep because it has been in latest reminiscence, the highway nonetheless runs by means of Milwaukee.  

On the subject of the Bucks, Antetokounmpo is the person, however he is nonetheless only a piece of the puzzle. To be at their finest, the Bucks want Jrue Vacation and Khris Middleton to additionally contribute in a significant approach, and that was the case on Tuesday. Middleton flirted with a triple-double (22 factors, 9 rebounds and 7 assists), and Vacation did too (18 factors, 10 assists and eight rebounds). When all three of these guys are clicking on the identical time, the Bucks are exceedingly powerful to topple, as all of us noticed final postseason. 

The Bucks did not make a significant, headline-generating commerce in the course of the season, just like the Sixers and Nets did, they usually did not do a whole 180 in the course of the season just like the Celtics. What they’ve completed, although, is construct on their success from final season, and in flip, put themselves able to search out related success this season. No matter the place they end within the convention standings, nobody goes to need to see Milwaukee within the playoffs, and equally, nobody must be stunned in the event that they make it out of the East for the second straight season. 


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