Giannis Antetokounmpo’s remarkable postseason defensive performances

Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant
Jun 7, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Milwaukee Bucks were able to level the NBA Finals thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s incredible block late in Game 4.

Khris Middleton and the rest of Milwaukee’s supporting cast stepped up in a big way with Giannis putting up atypical numbers on offense. However, Antetokounmpo provided crucial defense towards the end of the game. To many Bucks fans, it comes as no surprise that Giannis’ defensive ability is that of an all-time great.

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The Greek Freak has put up one of the most dominant postseasons on the defensive end in recent memory.

With that being said, here is a breakdown of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s defensive efforts in the 2021 NBA Playoffs series by series to illustrate what an incredible run he has had.

Giannis Antetokounmpo surpassed expectations in round one versus the Miami Heat

As the playoffs began, the Bucks went toe-to-toe with the team that sent them packing the previous season in the Miami Heat.

With a talented core of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Duncan Robinson, the Bucks had to make strides on the defensive end which they were unable to do in the 2020 NBA Playoffs in the bubble. What came of this series was arguably Giannis’ greatest defensive series in his career. During the series, Miami’s players shot a combined 13-of-40 when guarded by Giannis, according to Furthermore, Giannis was able to force eight total turnovers.

One of the players who torched Milwaukee last year was Butler. With Giannis’ help, he was largely a non-factor in the series. When Butler was defended by Giannis, he shot 3-of-12, logging him a measly 25 percent from the field. The most impressive part of Giannis’ defense on Butler was his ability to force him to make mistakes. Four turnovers were committed by Butler when defended by Giannis. That is half of the total turnovers Giannis Antetokounmpo forced throughout the series.

It is safe to say Giannis logged one of his best performances on the defensive end against the Heat in their four-game series in the first round. Sweeping the team that sent Milwaukee home last year was a statement in and of itself, but Antetokounmpo’s defense was also a statement. It was a sign of what was to come in the NBA Playoffs, where he has rattled off some incredible defensive performances.