Giannis Antetokounmpo’s defense has been picked on at times during the NBA playoffs, but he came up with a huge play at the right time on Wednesday night.
Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks had just taken a 101-99 lead in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on a jumper by Khris Middleton. The Phoenix Suns came back down, and Devin Booker tried to toss an alley-oop to Deandre Ayton. The shot could have tied the game, but Giannis skied to break up the exchange with a block.
Replays of that absurd Giannis block on Ayton pic.twitter.com/LneQ4bwgCG
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) July 15, 2021
The block was recognized as a huge play in the game. Even though Milwaukee was unable to score on its next possession, they seized control thereafter and won 109-103.
Pat Connaughton’s 3-pointer to give Milwaukee the lead with three minutes left was a game-changer. Giannis’ block sealed it. Those criticisms about his defense now seem so distant.