In the 2019 and 2020 NBA playoffs, Giannis Antetokounmpo has both been shortlisted after winning the regular season MVP award.
His Milwaukee Bucks both finished with a league-best record both times, but they went 2-0 up to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference Final, then fell to the Underdog Miami Heat in five games in the second round in 2020.
Both years, there was a realization that AntitoConampo could not play to its standards, let alone an MVP standard, in decisive play-off games.
But last year, he finally won his first NBA Championship and Final MVP as Box lost to Phoenix Suns in six games.
Milwaukee has just dropped out of the Boston Celtics vs seven-game series where it was relegated in the second half of Game 7, scoring just 38 points from 61 overs.
But this time, no one really pointed a finger at the Greek freak.
It wasn’t his fault, and he had every reason to keep his head up.
Antetokunampo played like Boston vs. Champ
Celtics vs. Milwaukee were probably fighting against the best defense in basketball, as well as a rising superstar of Jason Tatum and another truthful star of Jillian Brown.
For this Antetokounmpo had to be his best, and it got the best offer that Antetokounmpo had.
After a winning series tie, he moved to Game 3 with 42 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists, two steals and two blocked shots as the box took control with a 103-101 win.
Freak @ Giannis_an 34 MVP was in form against Celtics in Game 3. @ Box # NBA75 #NBAPlayoffs
📊 42 PTS | 12 REB | 8 AST pic.twitter.com/HdIDWfOp7w
– NBA Australia (BANBA_AU) May 7, 2022
It was Antetokounmpo who basically won the game with 44 seconds left for those who attacked and scored to make them better.
In Game 4, he had 34 points, 18 rebounds and five assists, but Box couldn’t get a stop in the fourth quarter as they blew a double-digit lead and fell to 116-108.
The Greek freak bounced back with 40 points in 5 games as Milwaukee overcame a late deficit to win 110-107 and take a 3-2 series lead.
3 @ Giannis_an 34 Powered by Blogger @ Box Winning 5 games scores 33 points while shooting 73% off the field!
BUCKS VS Celtics Game 1: The Sun. 1 pm/et on ABC pic.twitter.com/M7PCU3Wkpl
– NBA (BANBA) April 28, 2022
He had 20 rebounds each in Game 6 and Game 7, giving his team at least a chance to compete with 44 points in Game 6.
It turned out that the main culprit was someone else who couldn’t even play.
The cost of the Middleton injury is the Milwaukee series
Chris Middleton, the second-best player in the box, went to the MCL sprain early in their first-round series against the Chicago Bulls.
At first, it was thought he would probably return in a few weeks, but as the Eastern Conference semifinals began, it became clear that he would not be fit for any time against Boston.
Last year, Middleton had a big key to Milwaukee winning the World Championship as he warmed up more than once to extend the game to move on to several big wins.
But without him, the box had a problem.
This allowed Boston to take the key to AntitoCoumpo, knowing that he lacked teammates who could take their own shots and at times felt like he had to do everything.
He still scores an average of 33.9 points in a game in this series, not only because of his talent and skill, but also because of his aggression and desire to make an impression on the game in crunch time.
If Middleton doesn’t get hurt, maybe Box will play right now to get back to the NBA Finals.