Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks got off to a crushing start in the 2021 NBA PLayoffs. They shocked everybody, swept the Miami Heat in four games, and had momentum going into their series against the Brooklyn Nets. However, the Nets stole the first two games of the series, and after a 39-point massacre in Game 2, it looked as if the Bucks season was over.
Now, the Bucks found a way to string together some tough, gritty performances and force a Game 7 on Saturday. It’s simple, the winner goes home, and the loser has an early exit after talks of an NBA Finals run. The Nets came in as the favorites to take home the NBA championship, and those expectations ballooned even more after the first-round exit of LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Well, two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has the perfect opportunity to silence the critics and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals if he can string together another outstanding performance– this time in a Game 7, where legends are made.
It won’t be easy, but Game 6 was a glimpse of what Giannis needs to do. On Thursday night, he dominated down low. Antetokounmpo finished with 30 points on 12-20 from the field with 17 rebounds. Even more surprising was the fact he attempted zero three-pointers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo first-half shot chart. Much improved and no 3s. pic.twitter.com/pizVwJ2eLQ
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) June 18, 2021
So, case and point, he asserted his will in the paint and attacked the basket time and time again, which is exactly what he should be doing, especially against an under-sized Brooklyn squad.
Let’s not ignore Khris Middleton, who dazzled in Game 6 with a game-high 38 points on 11-16 from the field with 10 boards and five three-pointers. Nonetheless, Giannis is the engine that keeps the Bucks train churning down the tracks, and for the sake of Milwaukee– and likely mike Budenhozler’s job– they will need him to have a masterful performance in Game 7.
Giannis with EMPHASIS 🔨
Bucks pulling away in Game 6https://t.co/V873LcrOBz
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 18, 2021
Giannis has heard the criticism, and he is ready to prove everybody wrong. A series victory against the Nets– despite missing Kyrie Irving– would be monumental for his legacy and his resume.
Offensively speaking, he has tightened it up the past couple of games. In Games 1-4, he attempted 21 three-pointers. In the past two games, he attempted just four.
Now, can Giannis Antetokounmpo lead the Bucks to the promised land and a crucial Game 7 victory over the talented Nets’ squad? Only time will tell, but he has a perfect opportunity to lay his legacy out and prove to everybody that he can lead this team to a championship.