Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn’t available for Milwaukee in their home opening loss to the Knicks on Wednesday night. The 122-97 trouncing to tip off the 2015-16 season had the Greek Freak at home, serving a one-game suspension after a clothesline forearm shiver for Mike Dunleavy in the first round of last spring’s playoffs. Antetokounmpo was so racked with nerves during his opening night absence, he eventually just listened to the game, instead of watching it.
“In moments I was feeling a little bit emotional that I wasn’t there,” Antetokounmpo said on Thursday. “I was feeling a little bit sick.
“I was just laying on my bed and trying to listen to the game. … I watched part of it and then I just listened while the TV was on.”
On Friday night, Giannis was back in a big way leading his team with 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field. And he certainly made his presence felt when Nene attempted to rotate over on the back line to contest a Giannis smash. That didn’t go so well for the Brazilian Wizards center.
But Giannis picked up two offensive fouls against Jared Dudley, who — as a former Buck — knew just what to do to “get in the 20-year-old’s head,” as Matt Velaquez termed it for the Journal Sentinel.
Despite Dudley taking him out of the game, and his team’s 115-113 loss, there’s no denying the dunk he unleashed on Nene.