“We had the big one in transition and that changes things. » Wesley Matthews could hardly sum up the Bucks’ win over the Cavs better. With 38 stitches, Giannis Antetokounmpo effectively dominated the debates.
Above all, the Greek compiled nine dunks, his career record tied. Many arrive on transitions, on runs where the 2021 Finals MVP broke through the Cleveland defense to go all the way to the circle.
“I just tried to read the situations well”explains the double MVP for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “I tried to let my instincts take over. I had opportunities, I was able to seize them. »
It’s a well-known constant in the Giannis game, but how and why did the All-Star run so well in this encounter?
« Already because he is the player he is, but also because we made stops, so they could not build a wall in defense », advance Wesley Matthews. « Everyone defended, made stops, took rebounds and we were able to run », adds Giannis Antetokounmpo. “There were spaces for everyone. »
The Bucks star notably crushed the Cavaliers in the second quarter, with 13 points in six minutes. “When you can make stops, it helps to offer him easy baskets”confirms George Hill. “Otherwise he often comes up against set up defences, with a lot of players up against him. »
At the end of the first quarter, Robin Lopez even tried something to stop him: stick him, even block him, from midfield to deprive him of the ball.
The Bucks therefore attacked with four against a defense also reduced to four players. An amazing scene that didn’t pay off for the Cavaliers as Jevon Carter scored at 3-pts.
« This had never happened to me in my career, » admits Giannis Antetokounmpo, with a small smile on his face. “When I was 16 or 17, yes, they would pick me up off-road, but not in the NBA. For a second, I went for Stephen Curry. I don’t know why he did that. I was surprised, I looked at the coach, George Hill, the referee… I didn’t understand. But my teammates took advantage of it. »