Giannis Antetokounmpo is dominating the fourth quarter this season

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 07 (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 07 (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /

Without question, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been on a tear to start the 2021-22 NBA season. The Greek Freak has been making a valid case to win his third MVP award with some eye-popping numbers that have helped keep the Milwaukee Bucks in the title-contending conversation. While his all-around production has been incredible, Antetokounmpo’s efforts in the fourth quarter have been particularly fascinating, as he has been a dominant force in the final 12 minutes of games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been stellar in the fourth quarter this season

Scoring-wise, Antetokounmpo has been incredible. The MVP currently ranks first in fourth-quarter points per game with 8.5 and is second in total points to DeMar DeRozan (315), who leads him by just one point at the time of this writing. He has also been a prolific rebounder, hauling in the third most boards with 121, trailing only Rudy Gobert (167) and Jonas Valančiūnas (127). While it is low compared to the other ranks, it is interesting to see that the reigning Finals MVP also ranks 18th in fourth-quarter assists, with LeBron James being the only other non-guard ahead of him. His efforts on defense should also be noticed as he is 10th in fourth-quarter blocked shots.

The craziest part of it all? Antetokounmpo is 34th in fourth-quarter minutes played this season at 321. The 27-year-old has always managed to make the most of his minutes, but production like that in that amount of time is simply jaw-dropping. They call him the Greek Freak for a reason.

With numbers like that, Antetokounmpo has his share of memorable fourth-quarter performances this season. Among them is a January 8 clash with the Charlotte Hornets, where he battled to the buzzer by scoring 21 points on 5-of-8 shooting and an eye-catching 10-of-11 from the free throw line. The Bucks ultimately lost the game, but it was an incredible effort from No. 34 as he played all 12 minutes in the final period and nearly propelled the champs to victory.

Another impeccable performance from Antetokounmpo came in a December 30 meeting with the Orlando Magic, where he took over in a late. In nine fourth-quarter minutes, he scored 16 points on an efficient 8-of-11 shooting to lead the Bucks as they pulled away by scoring 40 points in the period. Earlier that month in a December 10 matchup with the Houston Rockets, Antetokounmpo helped the Bucks gut out a close win by tallying 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 10 minutes played.

It is hard to deny the greatness that has been on display from Antetokounmpo this season as he continues to dazzle on a nightly basis. Though there are some other valid candidates, it is getting hard to make a case against Antetokounmpo being the 2021-22 MVP right now. Yet, there is still plenty of regular season left to be played.

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As long as the two-time MVP can continue to be the best version of himself, particularly in the fourth quarter, the Bucks will be in good shape as they aim to go back to back as NBA champions.