The massive query surrounding Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has rapidly modified from “Will he be obtainable to play within the NBA Finals?” to “How are the Suns going to cease him?”
The 2-time NBA MVP adopted up a sensational Recreation 2 with one other excellent effort, totaling 41 factors, 13 rebounds and 6 assists in Milwaukee’s 120-100 win on Sunday night time. Antetokounmpo hit 14 of his 23 subject purpose makes an attempt, and maybe even extra impressively, he drained 13 of his 17 free throw makes an attempt.
“I am simply on the market attempting to benefit from the recreation, attempting to play, attempting to place myself ready to achieve success. That is what I am attempting to do,” Antetokounmpo stated after Recreation 3. “You understand, once I take every possession at a time, when I’ve a possession in entrance of me, I attempt to get myself ready, myself ready to achieve success. Generally it is driving the ball. Generally it is sealing down within the lane. Generally it is setting a display screen. I simply attempt to learn every possession at a time, and every possession is completely different.
“I would say, OK, I will assault this man this time, however for some motive that is not working. So, I am not attempting to love have a recreation plan or technique in my head. I simply wish to benefit from the recreation. I simply wish to be on the market, have enjoyable and compete at a excessive stage and browse every possession at a time, which each possession is completely different.”
That is a easy rationalization, however Antetokounmpo’s efficiency on this sequence has really been historic. Simply take a peek on the numbers . . .
40 and 10
Antetokounmpo grew to become the second participant in NBA Finals historical past to whole 40-plus factors and 10-plus rebounds in consecutive video games. The one different man to hit these numbers? Shaquille O’Neal, who pulled off the feat within the 2000 NBA Finals.
One key to Antetokounmpo’s scoring surge has been his free throw capturing. Previous to Recreation 3, he stood at 55 % from the road. Within the final two contests, he has hit 24 of his 35 makes an attempt (68.6 %).
Talking of free throws, take a look at Shaq’s Recreation 2 line. Sure, that is 39 free throw makes an attempt, an NBA playoff document.
28 and 24
The Suns scored 40 factors within the paint in Recreation 3. Antetokounmpo had 28 factors within the paint by himself, together with 24 factors within the restricted space. Up to now 25 seasons, solely O’Neal and LeBron James have scored extra paint factors in an NBA Finals recreation.
This shot chart actually tells all the story.
40, 10 and 5
Not solely was Antetokounmpo dominant within the scoring and rebounding departments, but in addition in creating for teammates by doling out six assists. Antetokounmpo is simply the fourth participant to hit the thresholds of 40 factors, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in an NBA Finals recreation since 2000. That record consists of O’Neal, James, Kevin Durant and Jimmy Butler.
“[Antetokounmpo is] a terrific playmaker, screener, passer and he does so many nice issues,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer stated. “I believe when he is aware of doing a bit little bit of every part, he is very succesful and that is when he is at his finest.”
Antetokounmpo has totaled 103 factors within the NBA Finals, the fourth-most factors by a participant in his first three profession Finals video games. He lands behind Rick Barry (122 in 1967), Allen Iverson (106 in 2001) and Willis Reed (104 in 1970).
Regardless of their finest efforts, Barry and Iverson got here up quick of their quests for a championship in these sequence. Reed ended up successful the title with the Knicks, famously taking the ground for Recreation 7 regardless of coping with a extreme thigh harm.
Will Antetokounmpo seize a hoop in his first journey to the NBA Finals? Or will the Suns discover a option to make him appear like a mere mortal?