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: James Harden
Jun 19, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

Giannis Antetokounmpo stifles Kevin Durant in round two versus the Brooklyn Nets

The story of the Bucks’ series against the Brooklyn Nets was Giannis’ unbelievable offensive performances versus Kevin Durant and his offense.

Giannis averaged 31 points per game in the seven-game series against Brooklyn, including a 40 point performance in Game 7. However, his defense still remained sound against one of the best players in the NBA in Kevin Durant. Durant is one of the greatest scorers the NBA has ever seen. Against Milwaukee, he averaged 35 points on nearly 50% shooting from the field and 35% from beyond the arc.

While Giannis was not the primary defender on Kevin Durant for most of the seven-game series, he made the most of his time covering Durant and was able to flip the switch on Durant’s scoring ability. Giannis put up a masterclass performance against Durant defensively as No. 7 shot a mere 5-of-15 from the field, logging only a 33% field goal percentage when defended by the former Defensive Player of the Year.

As the series went on, Giannis forced Durant to make mistakes, just as he did against Butler in the Miami series. Durant turned the ball over four times when defended by Giannis, nearly all of the turnovers Giannis forced in the series. Needless to say, Durant was not himself when defended by Antetokounmpo. While Giannis did not have one of his best all-around defensive series, he was able to limit one of the best scorers of all time to great effect.

His defense on Durant was just one of the reasons the Bucks were able to pull off a seven-game series victory against Brooklyn to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.