Giannis Is Ready To Feast On Lesser Competition
An emerging topic of conversation over recent weeks as the wider NBA continued to fully adjust to the idea of Giannis Antetokounmpo operating as Milwaukee’s primary ball-handler has been the adjustments that teams will make to nullify the Greek Freak’s strongest weapons and go-to moves.
In a league filled with players and coaches as smart as the NBA is blessed with, adjustments are an inevitability. At the present point, it’s too soon to deny that Giannis could be nullified by some of the league’s best teams and players, but perhaps what’s more important is that it doesn’t feel like it’s too soon to believe it will take the best of the best to have any chance of stopping him.
Against a depleted Bulls team that was missing the likes of Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to name but a few, it was clear from the opening tip that Milwaukee’s 6’11” playmaker was going to be allowed to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.
That feeling was perhaps punctuated best by a beautiful spin and dunk by Giannis that the Bulls were left powerless to defend.
It’s easy to say that teams will adjust to those kind of moves and cut off the space for Giannis to execute, but as he proved on Saturday night, his versatility means that successfully doing so will be incredibly difficult for most opponents he faces in the NBA.
The Bulls had another opportunity to stop the Bucks from scoring as Giannis found himself in a similar isolation set later in the game, but if Felicio rotated over to offer help anticipating Giannis was going to spin back to the rim for the second time, he was sorely mistaken as a no-look pass found the then unguarded Miles Plumlee.
It’s easy to say that teams will find an answer to the questions Giannis poses, but constructing the playbook for containing such a gifted, intelligent and physically unique athlete is a much more challenging proposition.
Will Kawhi Leonard be able to shut Giannis down behind a Gregg Popovich masterplan? Maybe. Will the average teams, coaches and players the Bucks face for the majority of the season be able to find an answer? Definitely not.