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, Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker
Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Giannis Antetokounmpo returns with masterful defense, delivers a game-saving block in Game 4 of the NBA Finals versus the Phoenix Suns

Upon Giannis’ return, many spectators wondered if he would be limited in his ability at all. Four games into the NBA Finals, Giannis has put any speculation on his health to rest. With masterful defensive performances on Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and DeAndre Ayton through four games, the Bucks were able to tie up the series at 2-2.

Throughout the first four games, Giannis has spent time guarding some of Phoenix’s best shooters. His best defensive performance has been against Paul. Giannis has limited Paul to just 4-of-14 shooting from the field and 0-of-3 from three-point range. Not only that, he has forced two turnovers and blocked one shot. Giannis’ defense against Phoenix’s facilitator has been nothing short of spectacular.

As for Phoenix’s other superstar Devin Booker, Giannis has also brought some stifling defense. When defended by Giannis, Booker has been limited to 4-of-11 from the field, shooting just 36 percent, well below his average in the playoffs at 45 percent. Booker excels behind the three-point line, but Giannis has limited him to just two makes from beyond the arc.

A majority of Giannis’ time in the NBA Finals has been spent defending DeAndre Ayton. With nearly 15 minutes spent defending Ayton, Giannis has limited the Suns’ big man to just 2-for-6 shooting. As you would expect, Giannis has forced turnovers against Ayton as well, as Ayton has two turnovers when defended by Milwaukee’s superstar.

Of course, we can’t talk about Giannis’ defense on Ayton without the play of the series thus far, that being the block. With just over one minute left in Game 4, Giannis delivered one of the more implausible blocks the world has seen. Ayton caught a pass from Booker and began to rise above Giannis. With a quick recovery, Giannis met Ayton above the rim and delivered the game-saving play for Milwaukee. With the Bucks in danger of facing a 3-1 hole in the NBA Finals, Giannis stepped up when it mattered most. Thanks to Giannis’ defensive play, the Bucks have leveled the series as it shifts back to Phoenix for Game 5.

All things considered, Giannis has been on a mission on both ends of the floor throughout the playoffs. With one of his best defensive performances of his career against Miami, stifling defense on Kevin Durant, and a potential season-saving play in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, the Bucks are in a position to win their first championship in 50 years.

Next. Milwaukee Bucks: 3 key X-factors vs. Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. dark

Without Giannis’ defense, Milwaukee would not be here. Giannis Antetokounmpo is certainly one of the best defenders in the NBA, and this playoff run has proven why.