Even though the Milwaukee Bucks couldn’t quite complete their comeback and lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday evening, young Buck Giannis Antetokounmpo was the player who had everyone buzzing, and not just because of this reality-warping, coast-to-coast, Eurostepping posterization of Serge Ibaka:
Giannis has been given the point guard reins in Milwaukee, and that’s done two things: Remade the Bucks into a unique team built for the future, and turned the Greek Freak into a triple-double machine. He had 26 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, four blocks and three steals against the Thunder, his third triple-double in his last seven games. He made an impression on everyone in the arena, most notably Kevin Durant, who heaped praise upon the Freak:
“Giannis, once he starts to knock down that jumper consistently, he’s going to be a problem. I hope he doesn’t get it any time soon. He’s already a problem now, but once he starts knocking that jumper down, it’s going to be amazing to watch.”
People did make KD comparisons to Giannis when he came into the league because they both are taller and have longer arms than their frames should allow, but whereas Durant only had his jumper when he came into the league, that seems to be the only thing missing from Giannis’ game now. In a way, they’re two sides of the same freakish coin. Durant also noted the differences, but added, “I think we’re on the same trajectory.”
That’s one of the biggest compliments anyone can pay Giannis, considering that Durant is a former MVP and one of the very best players in the NBA. If Antetokounmpo is heading that way, the Bucks might be in for a period of success unseen since the days when Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.