Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks were statistically the best team in the 2020 regular season. However, the postseason has been the complete opposite for them. They are on the verge of being eliminated by the hands of the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
After going down 3-0 in the series, the Bucks finally snatched a game from the heat. Surprisingly, it was in the absence of the Greek Freak. Giannis sat out almost three quarters due to an ankle sprain injury, But desperate time calls for desperate measures, and the Bucks’ supporting cast rose to the challenge.
The Bucks won the game in overtime behind a stunning performance by Khris Middleton. But was it a fluke or an all-around team effort? NBA analyst Skip Bayless believes Giannis’ absence was a gift to the Bucks against the Heat.
Is Giannis Antetokounmpo holding back his team vs Miami Heat?
Giannis is an absolute beast of a player in the regular season but come playoff time, the Greek Freak has struggled consistently. Skip Bayless explained why Milwaukee were better off without GIannis in game 4 of the second round.
“I would never try to make the case that the Bucks in general, long term, short term, whatever are better off without Giannis. But against this team, in this situation yesterday, they had a better chance of winning that game without Giannis.” said Bayless.
“Because as you [Shannon Sharpe] just pointed out, they get so Giannis centric against the defense that does make it very hard for him [Giannis]. He starts to wear out, collapse more and more, they force him into some sort of jump shooting, some mid range, some three-point shooting that he is not great at.” further added Bayless.
“They expose his flaw over time, so I believe that game was going the wrong way when he went out.” concluded Skip.
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Like Skip said, Giannis is not a good jump shot shooter as compared to his inside scoring. Moreover, when Giannis went out, the other stars played more freely and spaced the floor better. Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez in particular were phenomenal in crunch time.
But the odds are still stacked against the Bucks. As prior to game 4, they were down 3-0 in the series. And so far, no team in the history of NBA has ever erased a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs.
Will the Bucks overcome this obstacle? Or will they pack their bags after game 5? Only time will tell.