Do you want to do something fun? Okay, let’s do something fun. I want you to click this link, which will take you to a page on NBA.com that will start a playlist of clips of every shot attempt that Giannis Antetokounmpo took during the Bucks’ Game 3 victory over the Nets. Once the first clip starts, remove your hands from your keyboard and let it all play out sequentially.
How was that? You saw Giannis score 33 points on 31 shots, but more importantly you saw him take almost all of his shot attempts after executing one of a small set of boring, predictable offensive moves. Giannis spent basically the whole game on offense doing one of three things:
- Isolating at the top of the key and then trying to drive to the rim against a defender that had given him a 15-foot cushion.
- Isolating at the top of the key and then shooting a three-pointer.
- Isolating on the wing and then dribbling into a half-hearted post-up that results in a turnaround jumper.
I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but there was something about how all of this played out in last night’s game, one which the Bucks managed to win despite scoring just 86 points, that made the whole scene more depressing than usual. Every year the playoffs start, and every year Giannis and the Bucks suddenly struggle to figure out how to create good shots for a 6-foot-11 two-time MVP with hulking muscles. For me, personally, last night felt like something of a breaking point. Maybe it was Giannis going 1-for-8 from behind the arc, or the fact that he got a damn 10-second violation while quaking before a free throw, or that he approached one clutch possession with all the verve and ingenuity of an annoying TikTok baller.
I am not a basketball coach, and so I can offer no real insight into how one might be able to better maximize the skillset of a player like Giannis when confronted with a locked-in playoff defense. I’ll leave that to whoever replaces Mike Budenholzer this offseason to figure out. I am simply a fan who is tired of watching this shit. Every damn time the Bucks play there’s a guy on the TV who is basically Shaq But Longer, and I have to watch him isolate 25 feet from the rim and do a bunch of boring crap that looks bad. Maybe Giannis and the Bucks will figure all of this out eventually, but for now I’m just going to start changing the channel.