The Milwaukee Bucks faced a win or stay home situation in Game 6 on Thursday and came out swinging, as one would expect, after a second half collapse in Brooklyn on Tuesday put them on the verge of elimination.
As has been the case whenever Milwaukee looks good in this series (and, really, overall), Giannis Antetokounmpo got going downhill both in transition and even in the halfcourt, where the Bucks did a better job creating space for him to attack from off-ball positions off the catch. When Giannis does that, it also means he gets fouled, a lot, and when he gets fouled, we are all subjected to the world’s longest free throw routine.
Giannis’ slow free throws have been a story for much of the playoffs, as he’s been called for multiple 10-second violations at the stripe and fans have taken to counting down as he is at the line going through his interminable routine. It has also worn on the players on the other team, most notably in Game 6 when James Harden grew increasingly and visibly frustrated by how long it took Giannis to shoot his dang free throws — which produced some hilarious video.
The absolute disgust in the second video is so good. He can’t believe they let Giannis do a full practice motion before he gets the ball and then takes a deep breath, six dribbles, and finally launches. The most frustrating part for everyone is that it doesn’t seem to help Giannis at all to go through such a long routine, as he shot 68.5 percent from the line on the season (his third worst percentage of his career) and that has plummeted to 52.2 percent in the playoffs.
If there is a saving grace for Giannis it is that Ben Simmons exists to take the heat off of him as the worst free throw shooting star in the playoffs, but at least Simmons gets his misses out of the way in timely fashion, rather than making everyone just kinda stand around waiting for the inevitable split.