Giannis Antetokounmpo: 3 things the MVP can learn from The Last Dance

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 01: (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 01: (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 04: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Extended range

The way the NBA is officiated in the present day means there’s no real risk of any player receiving the kind of excessively physical treatment that Jordan and Pippen had to endure at the hands of the Bad Boys Pistons.

Still, watching Jordan get fouled every time he looks to take off, and being knocked to the floor repeatedly, does evoke an image of Antetokounmpo more than any other player in today’s NBA. There’s certain some elements of the Jordan Rules present in how opposing teams can look to wall off, and unsettle Antetokounmpo.

In watching Jordan eventually overcome that challenge from Detroit, though, it’s clear that when it came down to it, and when he was able to learn and make his own adjustments, he was close to impossible to stop.

A key part of that is that for as deadly as Jordan was when slaloming his way through the paint and finishing acrobatically at the basket, he was also a lethal mid-range shooter who could rely on that lower contact approach to put teams away.

This is not news for Giannis, as he got an up close look at one of the game’s current mid-range specialists, Kawhi Leonard, getting the best of him with that same approach in the playoffs last year.

There have been positive signs with Giannis’ shooting from all across the floor this season, but the ability to have a comfort shot that can bail him out or allow him to avoid excessive contact does remain particularly important to what he can ultimately achieve in the game.