Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo speaks out on guarding Kevin Durant after getting roasted for not doing it
As Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant was roasting the Milwaukee Bucks to a crisp in Tuesday’s epic Game 5 comeback, Giannis Antetokounmpo was getting roasted for not stepping up to the challenge and trying to slow down the scorching-hot KD. As a former Defensive Player of the Year winner, many believe Giannis should have taken on the Durant assignment instead of constantly standing in the corner against Joe Harris. The critics included several other NBA players, including Draymond Green, and this debate is similar to the one had last season when Jimmy Butler killed Milwaukee.
Well, it looks like we could see Antetokounmpo get a crack at Durant in Game 6:
Giannis on guarding KD in game 6 "I want to take on the challenge."
— Cassidy Hubbarth (@CassidyHubbarth) June 16, 2021
While it might not have mattered who was guarding KD on Tuesday night, the Bucks’ defensive approach against him was totally bizarre. There was way too much Brook Lopez in drop coverage, allowing KD to come off screens and dribble right into easy jumpers. Milwaukee mostly opted against sending hard doubles and instead did some soft switching for much of the night. It helped Durant find a rhythm as he went for a ridiculous 49-point performance.
The idea that Giannis just needs to man up and guard KD is a bit misguided to a degree, as that kind of defense against that player isn’t really The Greek Freak’s strength. Antetokounmpo got smoked by Durant earlier in this series trying to guard him and is most effective as a help defender.
However, there was no excuse not to at least try Giannis on Durant as the Nets star was going off in Game 5. At least use him and his length to double KD in an attempt to throw him off. If Durant still would have gotten the best of them, at least you know you tried everything. That didn’t happen, and now the Bucks are kicking themselves after an inexcusable loss, which also happened because the offense went in the tank in the second half.
We’ll see if Giannis actually guards Durant in an elimination Game 6 and if he has any success.