Is Giannis Antetokounmpo just a bulldozer for the Milwaukee Bucks?

May 11, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boston Celtics: Al Horford
Dec 13, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /

Giannis Antetokounmpo is not just a bulldozer: Reason three: Contact

I understand that it is easy to look at the fact that Giannis Antetokounmpo had the most offensive fouls called on him during the 2022 NBA Playoffs, looking at offensive fouls and minutes played, Karl Anthony-Towns is near Giannis for offensive fouls per minute. However, when considering that Giannis had the second-highest usage rate in the playoffs at 37.3 percent, second only to Luka Doncic at 39.6 percent, according to, and pairing that with the fact that Giannis by far drew the most fouls even adding in the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, it’s easy to deduce that Giannis plays through a ton of contact.

Giannis played 448 minutes this postseason and drew 71 fouls, in 629 minutes Jimmy Butler drew 66, and Jayson Tatum drew the third most thus far with 59 in a whopping 739 minutes. Looking at how many times a player is fouled per minute is eye-opening, Giannis is at .158 fouls per minute, Jimmy Butler at .105 fouls per minute, and Jayson Tatum is at .080 fouls per minute. It is not a far stretch of the imagination to say that Giannis Antetokounmpo plays through more contact than just about anyone in the league, especially in this most recent postseason.

Despite shooting a career-high amount of 3-to-10 feet shots this season, Giannis scored 53.2 of his points during the regular season in the paint, fast forward to the playoffs and that number jumps to 61.1 percent. Giannis recognizes that he is most effective scoring in the paint, whether it be in transition, using his dribble in the half-court, getting offensive rebounds, or posting up and looking to back down to the basket.

Giannis had several instances of being surrounded by a crowd and using his size, strength and athleticism to rise through contact and still score, whether it be corralling a rebound and going back up, or simply putting the ball emphatically through the hoop without coming down.

It is also worth noting that Giannis Antetokounmpo has some crazy length that he can use to his advantage as well to score through contact, even on a strong defender like Al Horford.

Giannis also draws tons of extra defenders, which sometimes still isn’t enough to stop him from scoring through contact. It could be a defender reaching while Giannis drives to the basket, or a defender trying to step in late trying to draw an offensive foul on Giannis, Giannis still finishes the play through the contact, whether there is a foul called or not.

Sometimes too, if you’re an opponent, you may have to just recognize that if you’re going to be too late helping on defense, it may be a better business decision to stay out of Giannis’ way.

In the end, people’s perception of Giannis Antetokounmpo being a bulldozer may be misguided by the fact that Giannis is just simply stronger than most defenders, faster than those of similar size, scores a lot in the paint, and plays through a lot of physical contact.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo is a basketball player, not a bulldozer.