Giannis Antetokounmpo compared to Steve Nash by Kings coach Luke Walton
Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton seemed to have thought of the master plan to stop Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. But everything backfired when the two-time reigning MVP started knocking down his free throws.
In the Bucks’ 128-115 victory over the Kings on Sunday, Giannis got to the line 24 times and knocked down 19 of them. It turns out that Walton wanted to see The Greek Freak on the charity stripe, where he’s shooting 64 percent prior to the game. Little did Walton know that it would be a good shooting night for Giannis, even comparing him to NBA legend Steve Nash (via Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee).
“Part of the game plan was, if he has a layup, let’s wrap him up. He’s supposed to be a 64% free throw shooter. Unfortunately, tonight he looked like Steve Nash shooting free throws out there.”
"Part of the game plan was, if he has a layup, let’s wrap him up. He’s supposed to be a 64% free-throw shooter. Unfortunately, tonight he looked like Steve Nash shooting free throws out there.” — Luke Walton on Giannis Antetokounmpo making 19 of 24 free throws
— Jason Anderson (@JandersonSacBee) February 22, 2021
For perspective, Nash is a career 90.4 percent free throw shooter.
Giannis, who’s been producing huge numbers as of late, finished with 38 points and 18 rebounds. More importantly, the Bucks picked up their second win in a row. Giannis’ surprising free throw performance was just one of the Kings’ problems on Sunday. They were also outrebounded 56 to 43, and throughout the game, they didn’t seem to possess the capability to beat a top-tier team like the Bucks.
Walton’s choice on fouling the hell out of Giannis Antetokounmpo seemed to have been the right choice. The 26-year-old has been criticized by many for his rather funky shooting form, which results in his inconsistent shooting.
So Sunday was just a matter of bad luck plus poor coaching and execution for Walton and the Kings. Sunday’s loss marks their seventh defeat in a row.