It is absurd to criticize most NBA players who scored 33 points and 14 rebounds as part of a playoff victory, but Giannis Antetokounmpo is not the majority of players.
The two-time NBA MVP is one of the main contributors to Milwaukee’s third win over Brooklyn — the other is Chris Middleton, who scored 35 points and 15 rebounds — which kept the Bucks from falling into The 3-0 dilemma. However, it feels like Antetokounmpo can do more in the series.
“At the end of the day, when you play a basketball game and win the game, you enjoy [it]. But I think we can play better,” Antetokounmpo says“We can play better. We can play faster. We can play more together.”
How can the Bucks truly release the “Greek Freak” against the Nets? Let’s take a closer look at what worked (and which didn’t work) in Game 3.
Do: Attack quickly in half-time groups and transitions
Example 1: Antetokounmpo entered attack mode immediately after the opening prompt. He grabbed the ball from several turnovers and did not allow the Nets defenders to sprint forward and build a wall in front of him.
Example 2: Later in the first quarter, Antetokounmpo faced defense, and the latter’s defensive position was much better. However, it didn’t matter that he penetrated with such a powerful force. Antetokounmpo can choose to end himself or kick to Brook Lopez to make an open three-pointer with Landry Shamet being sucked into the paint.
Example 3: In this game, the five Nets guards all came back, but Antetokounmpo saw Blake Griffin retreat and drove directly to his chest. When he is so deep, it is over.
Example 4: This is what happened when Antetokounmpo was not decisive. He dribbled the ball for more than 10 seconds while his teammates stood watching. Griffin tied him up and prepared to jump the ball, but if Antetokounmpo managed to release the ball, Kevin Durant might block the shot from behind.
Can quote: “I think in the first quarter, [Antetokounmpo] In attack mode. I think the spacing is better for us,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said“We got 30 points, and then from there, it was a fierce game. So Giannis must constantly find his place, can make the second action, the third action. He will continue to play and do the right thing. Decision and play for his team.”
Do: Pick and roll with teammates
Example 1: Griffin was content to stay away from Antetokounmpo and entice him to shoot a three-pointer (more on that below). One way Milwaukee countered this strategy was to use Antetokounmpo as a filter. Jrue Holiday came out of the draft with a rush of enthusiasm, so Griffin had to cover for Owen, who was chasing Holliday at the top of the screen. Antetokounmpo rolled hard to the basket, and Griffin could not cross fast enough to initiate a charge.
Example 2: The Bucks had a holiday-anonymous pick-and-roll at the same spot late in the first half, but this time Nets guard Mike James tagged Antetokounmpo to prevent an easy pass. Adjust the holiday by throwing a timely laser at PJ Tucker. The shot did not fall, but Antetokounmpo’s threat created the look Milwaukee wanted.
Pass the numbers: Antetokounmpo scored 1.21 points per round in the playoffs, but he only recorded 14 such rounds. According to NBA.com statistics.
Do: find the cutting line
Example 1: Throughout the series, the Bucks have been lacking ball movement, but this was a great ball possession, and every player touched the ball. Milwaukee put Brooklyn in a position of help and recovery, and Antetokounmpo saw a runway after his defender spun towards the ball.
Example 2: Antetokounmpo once again used a defender who helped with the ball and lost track. Antetokounmpo caught the ball at the dotted line, but his height and athleticism allowed him to dunk easily.
Pass the numbers: Antetokounmpo, as a cut-in player in the playoffs, scored 1.30 points per round in 23 such rounds. According to NBA.com statistics. The Bucks are in production The third highest rate cut (1.38) Among the playoff teams, second only to the Clippers (1.42) and Jazz (1.39),
Don’t: Isolate and cast a pull-up three point
Example 1: Okay, here comes the frustrating part. In the third game, Antetokounmpo made 1 of 8 three-pointers (12.5%) and 13 of 23 two-pointers (56.5%). Many of his long shots are bad shots. Dribble, no pass, shooting time is 17 seconds. Do not.
Example 2: Dribble, one step within the arc, move backward, and the shooting time is 15 seconds. stop.
Example 3: The dribble came up, and the two teammates had just crossed the half-court, with a shooting time of 17 seconds. Buddy. . . bring it on.
Can quote: “They’re back. You have to shoot—not necessarily you have to shoot. You have to make the best decision,” Antetokounmpo says“At the time, if I felt I could knock it down, I would shoot it. If I felt I had to involve my teammates, I would let my teammates participate. At the end of the day, like I said, Make the best decision at that particular moment. As I said, my instinct tells me that shooting three-pointers at that moment is the best decision, which is why I made eight three-pointers.”
(The best decision is to eliminate those three-pointers and do more other things.)