These Boston Celtics seem to be dead, filleted and breaded, and their feeble attempts to close them A series of late deficits last night strongly suggested that this is a recent example of a blown 3-1 lead. This is a mentally broken basketball team with a single game between them and the beach. This is far from her bold refusal to die in the playoffs of last season, even if her stars were injured. The difference this year is Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Since being penalized by Al Horford in Milwaukee in Game 1, Antetokounmpo has grown stronger with the development of the series and has improved his score, rebound and number of goals in each subsequent game. Horford limited him to 22 and eight to 33 percent when shooting in Game 1; Last night's win, Boston's second Bucks Street, has doubled its performance to 39, 18 and 68 percent.
This inexorable improvement speaks above all for its intransigence. Giannis never settles down, never refreshes, hardly ever gets dressed. Instead, he keeps going to the rim at every opportunity, and he's too tall and too athletic for a Celtic defender to get around. After having owned Antetokounmpo in the fourth quarter, he yelled into the alley and humiliated someone with a break-in or a lay-in to the point that the Celtics were tired of helping. This is Giannis antetokounmpo effect: he breaks teams by mere repetition. Take a look at all the sad faces that have emerged after this game-icing dunk.
Horford is a great defender who baffles the best big men in the league, but Antetokounmpo has never stopped running right against his chest and the Bucks have added more weird folds to free him. Both the team's Antetokounmpo-Brook Lopez pick-and-roll and the two-man clearout action with Khris Middleton are forcing Boston to opt to move to Antetokounmpo or play the rotation game against Milwaukee's capable shooters. No other defender has a chance, because Antetokounmpo passes happily through and at all and only stops when it's his turn.
It must be so demoralizing to have to deal with it in every game of every game. The psychic effect of Gianni's constant forward momentum resembles the perseverance and threat of Stephannis Curry, which disturbed defense at a higher level. It was not only difficult to defend, it created so much more work . You can not opt for a man who deducts from a half field, and you can not always plan to stop a 7 foot world class athlete who is absolutely ready to turn upside down whenever he can. The emotional break caused by Peak Curry was deeper than what Giannis does, but the way Boston was folded under his pressure opened his eyes. In the first LeBron-free playoffs since 2005, Giannis has shown that he is willing and able to assert himself as the best player in the East. At least.
To be clear, the Bucks are not just Giannis and some other Scrubs. The crucial run of Game 4 was the work of a heroic unit of banknotes, and they took over the game as Giannis sat. This is a complete team, and when Malcolm Brogdon returns – with some rest, thanks to his teammates who both won street games in Boston – they become an even more complete team.
But most nonstop shootings work for Antetokounmpo (not to say that he's an excellent defense), and it's so much fun to watch a superstar trying to thwart the guys on the edge, especially in comparison to the same jump-shoot excellence of James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard. I hope Giannis throws the rest of the playoffs out of everyone.