At some point during the 2017-18 NBA season, I commented to a friend, how Jabari Parker was better at “basketball” than Giannis Antetokounmpo.
He didn’t say anything. Probably because it sounded pretty stupid at the time. It sounds even stupider now. But, a few weeks after I said that, he texted back something like, “After you said that, and watching the Bucks a couple games, I can’t get that out of my head.”
While the thought still sounds a little ridiculous, it is evident, that 24-year-old Antetokounmpo has some things to figure out.
It was something I kept thinking about as I watched the Bucks lose 105-99 on Thursday. And now I’m just going to vent, as Milwaukee is on the brink of elimination.
The Bucks just don’t let the game come to them. If Antetokounmpo could only rip his jersey off before he did the “I got this,” dribble into the middle of the lane, lose the ball and watch it roll around on the ground. Maybe, without his shirt, he’d be tougher and he could do his “I’m pissed” face because he turned it over, instead of got a basic dunk.
They can also stop doing that play altogether — Antetokounmpo at the top of the key, four corners offense, with nobody moving, and he just tries to kick it out to a teammate who can’t shoot. Run a pick-and-roll and get him going without the ball to the rim. They did it ONCE and he got a dunk.
Brook Lopez is the heart and soul of this team, and that heart only beats for about 30 seconds a quarter.
Who’s Gucci Mane? Just kidding. I don’t care. At all.
Kawhi Leonard is really good. And Antetokounmpo should guard him. Khris Middleton is a good defender, but he’s dead on offense, after having to guard Leonard. At this point, Middleton is more important to Milwaukee on offense than Antetokounmpo. Let Antetokounmpo burn all his energy guarding Leonard.
How is it smart to switch Lopez on Leonard? At some point late in the game, the TNT broadcasters asked that, and it was like the Bucks coaching staff was watching the broadcast and went, “Oop, that’s a good point.” I could have told you that last week.
It looks like Milwaukee should have kept Stanley Johnson and Jason Smith over Nikola Mirotic in that three-way trade. Dude is useless. Like the Bucks unable to let offense come to them, Mirotic can’t let a 3 come to him, either. He’s just gotta throw one up when it’s not there and 20 seconds are left on the shot clock.
Speaking of … Bledsoe, stop shooting. I love that Reggile Miller said, twice, after Bledsoe hit 3s to start the first and second half, that was the best thing that happened to Toronto. It’s basic pick-up-ball mentality — if that dude that sucks hits a 3 to start the day and he’s on your team, it’s over. You may as well quit or try and switch teams, because he’s gonna be all, “Let it rain,” the rest of the day. Here are some more Bledsoe highlights:
Who’s Fred VanVleet? Oh, he’s Milwaukee’s George Hill.