3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ statement win over Brooklyn Nets

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 07 (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 07 (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 07 (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /

Giannis Antetokounmpo bolstered his MVP case with an outstanding showing for the Milwaukee Bucks

Following a one-game absence due to a non-COVID illness, Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to the Bucks’ lineup. The Greek Freak has received no shortage of buzz this season as the NBA’s early favorite to win MVP, and all eyes were on the current frontrunner as he went up against another premier candidate in Durant. Antetokounmpo certainly did not dissapoint.

Due to his foul trouble, Antetokounmpo’s minutes were limited in this one as he tallied just a tick under 27 minutes. Regardless, he made the most of every minute as he scored 31 points on an efficient 11-of-17 shooting, including 2-of-5 from behind the arc. The Nets had no answer to his scoring barrage, particularly as Antetokounmpo extended the range by knocking down mid-range shots and 3-pointers.

While his scoring was beyond impressive, Antetokounmpo also made some eye-catching passes in this matchup as he took on the added facilitating responsibility with Holiday sidelined. He threw a few beautiful passes throughout the game, but none prettier than this dime to Portis in the corner for a wide-open 3-pointer. That make by Portis helped tally one of Antetokounmpo’s nine assists as he just missed out on the double-double, falling short in rebounds as he grabbed just seven.

If Antetokounmpo was not already the league leader for MVP, he certainly is now after leading the shorthanded Bucks to a big victory on the road against another top contender with a candidate of their own on the roster. Of course, there is still plenty of regular season still left to be played, but this game should bolster his chances.

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Antetokounmpo and the Bucks will look to make it two wins in a row as they square off vs. the Charlotte Hornets tonight. Be sure to catch the action at 6:00 p.m. CST on Bally Sports Wisconsin.