The Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions, and the main reason is their star Giannis Antetokounmpo. The two-time MVP had 50 points(17-19 FT), 14 rebounds, and five blocks shots as the Bucks defeated the Suns 105-98 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum on Tuesday night.
After losing the first two games of this series, Milwaukee, who got their first NBA title since 1971, won four straight to win the series 4-2.
Antetokounmpo, named Finals MVP, scored 33 points in the second half of Game 6, which marked the second time he scored 30-plus points in the second half of a game in this series. According to Elias Sports, Antetokounmpo is the first player to record multiple 30-point halves in a single NBA Finals over the last 40 years. Additionally, he’s the seventh player in the history of the NBA to score 50 points in the Finals.
When Antetokounmpo hyperextended his left knee against the Hawks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, many thought he would not be able to get back on the court again this season, but he got back on the court and averaged 35.5 points on 62% shooting from the field, 13.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game in the Finals.
It’s been a long journey for the “Greek Freak” to an NBA title, and according to him, he was not sure it would happen.
“I started playing basketball just to help my family,” he said after the game. “Tried to get them out of the struggle, the challenges we were facing when we were kids. But I never thought I’m going to be 26 years old, with my team playing the NBA Finals. Just playing — like, I was just happy just being like not even winning, just being a part of this, of this journey. But I never thought I would be sitting here with this right here and this right here (the championship and MVP trophies.) We’ve come a long way.”
Antetokounmpo has had his struggles from the free-throw line throughout his career, but he quieted a lot of people by going 17-19 from the line on Tuesday night, which he discussed postgame.
“People told me I cannot make free throws,” he said. “I made my free throws tonight, and I’m a freaking champion. I made them when I’m supposed to make them. I’m joking — actually, I’m not (laughter).”
Before the start of the season, the five-time All-Star signed a five-year, $228 million extension, the largest contract in league history. After some playoffs failures, including losing to the Heat in the second round of the playoffs last season, some thought Antetokounmpo would go elsewhere, but he stayed in Milwaukee, and now he’s a champion.
“But coming back, I was like, this is my city,” he said. “They trust me. They believe in me. They believe in us. Even when we lost, the city was still — went outside, and you know, obviously, I wanted to get the job done. But that’s my stubborn side. It’s easy to go somewhere and go win a championship with somebody else. It’s easy. I could go — I don’t put — I could go to a super team and just do my part and win a championship, but this is the hard way to do it, and this is the way to do it, and we did it. (Expletive) did it. We did it, man.”
Antetokounmpo was remarkable in this series, and with the help of Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and others, he’s finally a champion.
If the Phoenix Suns fall short in the NBA Finals, they might look back at Game 4. Phoenix built a nine-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but Devin Booker, who had a bounce-back game with 42 points after scoring 10 points on Sunday, had to leave with his fifth foul with over 11 minutes left in the fourth.
When Booker returned midway through the fourth, the Suns still had a three-point lead, but Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton turned it on. He scored 14 of his 40 points in the final quarter, including the game-winner with just over a minute left in the contest as Milwaukee defeated Phoenix 109-103 at Fiserv Forum on Wednesday night to tie the series up at 2.
“As far as the fourth quarter, late in the fourth quarter, we just ran sets that allowed me to get to my spots,” Middleton said. “After that, I just got to make reads. Whether to shoot, whether to find an open guy, Giannis(Antetokounmpo) on a roll. It’s just reading the defense at that point. Just luckily, thankfully, I hit some shots.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo added on Middleton: “But that’s what he does down the stretch. We want him to have the ball. We want him to be the decision-maker. We know he’s going to take big shots, and tonight he was incredible.”
It was not all about Middleton in the fourth. With the Bucks up 101–99 late in the game, Antetokounmpo, who had 26 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists in Game 4, made the defensive play of the game and maybe the series. Booker threw an alley-oop pass to Deandre Ayton, and the first-team all-defensive player made a fantastic block, which saved the game and maybe the series for the Bucks.
“Just a hustle play,” Antetokounmpo said on the block. “I thought I was going to get dunked on, to be honest with you. But you know, going down the stretch, do whatever it takes to win the game. Just put yourself in a position that can win the game. I saw the play coming. I saw that Chris(Devin Booker) was going to throw the lob, and I was just going to jump vertical toward the rim. Hopefully, I can be there in time, and I was there in time and was able to get a good block and go down and get two points. So it was a great hustle play.”
While Booker shined for Phoenix, Chris Paul struggled. He had 10 points(5/13 shooting), seven assists, and five turnovers. The most significant turnover was with 32.4 seconds left and the Suns trailing 101-99. Paul would lose the ball, and ultimately Middleton would put the game away with a layup in transition.
“It was me. I had five of them,” Paul said about the turnovers. “It was bad decision making. That time we were down two, and I tried to cross over right there, slipped, turned it over. I had some bad passes in the first half.”
Game 5 is Saturday night in Phoenix. It’s the best of three at this point. The Suns had an excellent opportunity to win Game 4 and wasted an outstanding performance by Booker, but now they go back to Phoenix and hope to get right. For the Bucks, they have been in an 0-2 hole before and know what it takes to get out of it.
-Antetokounmpo left the game at the 8:29 mark of the first quarter in Game 4. The reason why? He had to “tinkle.”
“How do you guys say politely? I wanted to take a tinkle. A tinkle,” he said. “I wanted to take a tinkle and came back (laughter). That’s polite, right?
-According to Elias Sports, Booker had the most points in Finals history by a player with 10 or fewer points in the previous game.
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo had another big-time performance in the NBA Finals, and this time, it translated to a victory. The two-time MVP had his second straight 40-point game in this series and scored 41 points, including 13/17 from the free-throw line, to go along with a team-high 13 rebounds and six assists as the Bucks routed the Suns 120-100 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum on Sunday night.
Antetokounmpo, who had 42 points and 12 rebounds in Game 2, and Shaquille O’Neal are the only two players in NBA history with 40-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in back-to-back Finals games.
“When he’s rolling sometimes like he was these last two games, you’ve just got to give him the ball, give him his space and allow him to go to work,” Khris Middleton, who had 21 points, seven assists, and six assists on Sunday, said about Antetokounmpo.
Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer added on Antetokounmpo: “He’s just doing whatever it takes to help his team, to help us. He’s in an aggressive mindset. He always plays that way. But I thought he played with the pass well. He made some great reads, found guys, played against the zone. He just did a little bit of everything. Offensive boards, putbacks. We need a lot from him, and that’s what he does.”
Phoenix still leads the series 2-1, and Game 4 is on Wednesday night in Milwaukee.
Game 3 was a must-win situation for Milwaukee. The Bucks were down 0-2 against the Nets in the second-round, but won the series in 7.
Milwaukee did what they needed to do on Sunday night, which Antetokounmpo discussed postgame.
“We know what kind of game this was going to be,” Antetokounmpo said. “We knew that if we lose the game, you are in the hole, 3-0 or whatever the case might be. We knew that we had to come here and play great basketball, so I knew that.”
The Bucks shot ten more free throws(26-16) than Phoenix in Game 3, and Suns C Deandre Ayton, who had 12 of his 18 points in the first quarter and nine rebounds on Sunday night, was saddled with foul trouble. While he did not want to complain about the officiating, Suns head coach Monty Williams pointed out the free-throw disparity.
“I’m not going to get into the complaining publicly about fouls. Just not going to do that,” Williams said. “But you can look — we had 16 free throws tonight. One person had 17.”
Devin Booker struggled with his shot in Game 3 and was 3/14 from the field with 10 points, but the two-time All-Star expects to bounce back in Game 4.
“It wasn’t well, obviously,” Booker said. “But there’s nights like that. The most important part to me is winning the game, and we didn’t do that, so I’m more frustrated about that. But we have a few days off here. We’re going to get back right and going to go over film and be ready Wednesday.”
This effort was expected out of Milwaukee in Game 3. It should be interesting to see Phoenix’s response in Game 4. However, the Bucks, who are 8-1 at home this postseason, are back in this series.
-Jrue Holiday had his best performance of the series on Sunday night. Holiday had 21 points, nine assists, and five assists.
-Chris Paul led the Suns with 19 points and nine assists in Game 3. With the loss on Sunday night, Paul is now 0-12 when Scott Foster officiates his games in the playoffs.
The Phoenix Suns are now two games away from winning their first NBA title after defeating the Bucks 118-108 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena on Thursday night.
Devin Booker scored a team-high 31 points tonight to go along with five rebounds and six assists. Booker knocked down seven three-pointers on 12 attempts, while Mikal Bridges scored a playoff career-high 27 points in Game 2 on 8-of-15 shooting (3-of-9 3FG) to go along with seven rebounds.
The Suns are 11-1 this postseason when Bridges scores in double figures.
Chris Paul, who had 23 points, eight assists, and four rebounds on Thursday night, believes Bridges is a winner.
“He’s a winner,” Paul said. “When we won the Western Conference finals, I looked at him, and I had a flashback of him being at Villanova. I remember him winning a championship there. He’s just a winner. He’s going to do whatever you need him to do, offensively or defensively, and it’s good to see him playing like this.”
The Suns knocked down 20 three-pointers on 40 attempts on Thursday night. It marked just the third time in NBA Finals history that a team has made 20 threes or more in a Finals game. Additionally, the 20 threes marked a franchise record for threes in a postseason game.
Phoenix led by as many as 11 points in the first half and as much as 15 points in the third quarter, and then Giannis Antetokounmpo came alive. The two-time MVP scored 20 of his game-high 42 points in the quarter and was able to get the lead to as low as five points in third, but it wasn’t enough. Antetokounmpo also added a team-high 12 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks.
Game 3 is Sunday night in Milwaukee.
The Bucks are down 0-2 in this series, and they have been here before in the second round against Brooklyn, and ultimately, they were able to win that series in 7, so Antetokounmpo is still confident.
“We’ve been here before, and we were able to get the job done,” Antetokounmpo said. “Hopefully, we can put ourselves in position, and we can believe in one another, and we can play together, and we can have fun. We can compete, and we can dive on the floor, we can make shots, put ourselves in a position to win the game. But like we know what the deal is, man. Like we got to go back home and protect home.”
The series does not start until the road team wins, so let’s see what happens in Milwaukee.
-According to Stathead, Antetokounmpo became just the fourth player in NBA Finals history to record 40-plus points, 10-plus rebounds and 3-plus blocks in a Finals game, joining Shaquille O’Neal (3 times), LeBron James and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
In addition, Antetokounmpo got to the free throw line 18 times, knocking down 11 of them. It marked the most free throw attempts by a single player in an NBA Finals game since June 7, 2015 (LeBron James).
-Deandre Ayton recorded his fifth-straight double-double tonight and 13th of the postseason, notching 10 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four assists and a game-high three steals. With his double-double tonight, Ayton moved into sole possession of second place for the most double-doubles in one postseason by a Suns player in franchise history, trailing only Charles Barkley’s mark of 22 during the 1993 playoffs.
After 47 years, the Milwaukee Bucks are back in the NBA Finals. Khris Middleton scored 23 of his game-high 32 points in the third quarter, and Jrue Holiday added 27 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists as the Bucks defeated the Hawks 118-107 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at State Farm Arena on Saturday night.
Milwaukee wins the series 4-2, and now, they get ready for the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.
Despite not having Giannis Antetokounmpo, who missed Games 5 and 6 due to a hyperextended left knee, the Bucks found a way. Getting to the NBA Finals was not an easy journey for the Bucks, which their head coach Mike Budenholzer discussed after the game.
“Yeah, what a roller coaster of emotions, especially this series,” Budenholzer said. “But the series before and opening with Miami, and how good they are. So just impressed with the resilience of the group, the character of the group. They just have a focus, and an edge that’s put us in a good place put us in an opportunity to keep playing. And so you’ve got to deal with all those emotions, everything that goes into each round, and this group has been able to do that. It’s impressive, but we’ve got more to do.”
Middleton and Antetokounmpo came into the NBA together with the Bucks, and the two went through the highs and lows in Milwaukee, including some playoff disappointments over the years, to get to this point. Middleton reflected on that journey following the victory.
“Honestly, it’s been a long journey, but it’s been a great journey,” Middleton said. “It’s been worth it. We put ourselves in position to be in the NBA Finals. After winning 15 games in our first year here and seven years not making the playoffs, to the last two years thinking we had a chance and just didn’t do enough, and now we’re here. This is what we’ve work for. Extremely happy that we’re still playing.
According to Holiday, this journey to the Finals is a story he will tell his children.
“Man, it’s been — it’s a story that I get to tell my kids, and it’s a story I get to tell people, and that’s one of the coolest things,” Holiday said. “Playing against the Heat and what we did against them; and then coming back against Brooklyn, one of the most talented teams in the league, or ever, honestly, against one of the best, what, top three of the greatest scorers of our game; and then a great Atlanta team, a young team but that have some crucial players.”
Last season, the Atlanta Hawks missed the playoffs. This season, the Hawks made it to the Eastern Conference finals, which unexpected to many, so no matter what happened in Eastern Conference finals, this season was a success. According to Trae Young, who returned and had 14 points and nine assists on Saturday after missing Games 4 and 5 with a foot injury, Atlanta wants to keep this winning vibe going.
“I definitely feel like this is a start,” Young said. “I mean, this is the beginning. We’ve accomplished so much this year, but just the guys in the locker room, the young guys, we all understand that this is just the beginning. It’s fun. We had the city excited. We want to keep it this way.”
The Bucks move on to the NBA Finals against the Suns, and if they can get Antetokounmpo back, and he is fairly healthy, maybe they beat Phoenix. If they don’t get the two-time MVP back, winning an NBA title will be tough for Milwaukee.
Coming into Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Atlanta Hawks knew they would be without their star guard Trae Young(bruised right foot) against the Bucks. However, Milwaukee lost its star player and could be without him the rest of the way.
Giannis Antetokounmpo left Game 4 with just over seven minutes to go in the third quarter and did not return after he hyperextended his left knee trying to block Clint Capela’s shot. The two-time MVP did come back to the bench but had a noticeable limp and returned to the locker room.
After Antetokounmpo’s injury, the Hawks, who led the Bucks by 10 when Antetokounmpo went out of the game, outscored the Bucks 25-10 the rest of the third quarter. Atlanta would take a 25-point lead into the fourth quarter and ultimately defeat the Bucks 110-88 at State Farm Arena to tie the series at 2.
Game 5 is Thursday night in Milwaukee.
Without Young, Lou Williams, the three-time 6th-man of the year award winner, got his first career postseason start on Tuesday night, and Williams had a game-high 21 points and eight assists.
“When superstar caliber guys go out, you put some other guys in the game, and their eyes are this wide, and they’re like this is a great opportunity for me to show and prove my abilities,” Williams said. “You don’t want to be the guys that let them off the hook because Giannis was off the floor. I think we all felt that energy, and we just ratcheted up our energy and continued to go.”
Jrue Holiday led the Bucks with 19 points, to go along with nine assists and five rebounds. According to Holiday, without Antetokounmpo, everybody else has to step up.
“I think just based off of how he was grabbing his leg, it seemed like it was pretty bad,” Holiday said. “So from there, you are concerned, and you don’t want to see anybody, especially a teammate, get hurt, but you kind of have to shift to somebody has to step up. Multiple people have to step up.”
P.J. Tucker, who had eight points on Tuesday night, added on Antetokounmpo: “It’s not good. Any time you see your best player go down, it’s not great. But it’s an opportunity for somebody else and everybody else to step up. It’s the Eastern Conference finals; there’s no excuses. It doesn’t matter whoever is playing, not playing. They’ve got guys out; everybody’s hurt, everybody’s banged up, everybody has injuries. You have to fight through it and win.”
Credit to Atlanta for the way they played in Game 4. They came out with more passion and energy than the Bucks, which is why they were able to tie this series at 2.
According to reports, Antetokounmpo is expected to get an MRI on Wednesday, so what happens with that MRI could determine how the rest of this series plays out. Depending on how things go with Young’s injury, both teams could be without their best player in Game 5.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has been battling right knee soreness throughout the playoffs, had a breakout game for the Hawks. He scored 20 points(6-14 from downtown) on Tuesday night.
Before Game 4, Bogdanovic scored 20 points in the first three games of this series combined.
League MVP Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, and Luka Doncic were named to the 2020-21 All-NBA First Team, the league announced on Tuesday.
Antetokounmpo was the only player to receive All-NBA First Team votes on all 100 ballots, earning his third consecutive First Team selection and fifth All-NBA Team honor overall. Jokic, the first player to be named the NBA MVP as a member of the Nuggets, received 99 First Team votes to make the First Team for the second time in the last three seasons. Curry, who averaged an NBA-leading 32.0 points this season, received 98 First Team votes in his fourth selection to the First Team and seventh All-NBA Team honor overall.
Leonard was voted to the All-NBA First Team for the third time and earned his fifth All-NBA Team selection. The 22-year-old Doncic has been selected to the All-NBA First Team for the second season in a row. He is the first player to make the All-NBA First Team at least twice in his first three NBA seasons since Tim Duncan (three times from 1997-98 – 1999-2000).
The 2020-21 All-NBA Second Team consists of Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.
The 2020-21 All-NBA Third Team is composed of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler, Clippers forward Paul George, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, and Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving.
James has extended his league record for most All-NBA Team selections to 17, including a record 13 selections to the First Team, three to the Second Team, and one to the Third Team. Paul has been voted to the All-NBA Team for the 10th time, the second-most among active players behind James.
This is the sixth All-NBA Team selection for Lillard and George, the fourth for Gobert and Butler, and the third for Embiid and Irving. Randle and Beal have each been selected to the All-NBA Team for the first time.
Mavericks guard Luka Dončić was named to the 2019-20 All-NBA First Team, the league announced on Wednesday. Dončić was joined on the All-NBA First Team by LeBron James(unanimous), Giannis Antetokounmpo(unanimous), James Harden, and Anthony Davis.
Dončić, who was 21 years, 168 days old on the final day of the 2019-20 regular season (Aug. 14), becomes the sixth player to earn All-NBA First Team honors at age 21-or-younger, along with LeBron James (2006), Max Zaslofsky (1947), Kevin Durant (2010), Tim Duncan (1998) and Rick Barry (1966). James (21 years, 110 days) and Zaslofsky (21 years, 114 days) are the only players to achieve the feat at a younger age than Dončić. In fact, if the season would have ended on its originally scheduled date (April 15), Dončić would have been the youngest to ever do it.
The second-year guard becomes the first player named to the All-NBA First Team in either his first or second season since Duncan in 1998-99 (Duncan made the First Team in each of his first eight seasons from 1997-98 to 2004-05).
Dončić averaged 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists in 54 games before to the restart (through March 11). The 2018-19 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year saw his numbers increase in the bubble, as he nearly averaged a 30-point triple-double (30.0 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 9.7 apg) in Orlando en route to being named a unanimous Kia NBA All-Seeding Games First Team selection. Dončić finished the regular season with averages of 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in 61 games (all starts), becoming just the third player in NBA history to average at least 28-9-8 for a full season (Oscar Robertson, Russell Westbrook).
The 21-year-old recorded a league-high 17 triple-doubles in 2019-20, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to lead the league outright in the category. Dončić not only broke Jason Kidd’s Mavericks single-season triple-double record (nine in 1995-96), but he became the franchise’s all-time leader in the category as well (25). Twelve of his triple-doubles were of the 30-point variety, and he again joined Robertson and Westbrook as one of three players to record at least 12 30-point triple-doubles in a single season.
Dončić also finished the season as the league leader in 25-point, 10-rebound, 15-assist games (five), 30-10-7 efforts (18) and 20-5-5 games (50).
Dončić ranked sixth in scoring (28.8 ppg), 17th in rebounding (9.4 rpg) and third in assists (8.8 apg). He became the seventh player since the ABA/NBA merger (1976-77) to finish a season ranked in the top-20 among qualifiers in scoring, rebounding and assists (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Grant Hill, Kevin Garnett, James, Westbrook).
Voting for the 2019-20 All-NBA Teams was based on games played through March 11 (prior to the hiatus).
2019-20 NBA All-NBA Second Team:
Kawhi Leonard (L.A. Clippers)
Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors)
2019-20 NBA All-NBA Third Team:
Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat)
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets)
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was the best player in the NBA from the beginning of the year to the end of the regular season, and on Monday, he was rewarded for his tremendous season.
Antetokounmpo was named the NBA MVP at the 3rd annual NBA Awards in Santa Monica, California. Antetokounmpo edged out the league’s reigning MVP, James Harden. Paul George, Steph Curry, and Nikola Jokic rounded out the top five.
Last season, Antetokounmpo averaged 27.7 ppg, 12.5 rpg, and 5.9 apg.
After receiving the award, Antetokounmpo gave a very emotional speech.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo lead the 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive First Team, the league announced today.
The three finalists for the 2018-19 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award finished with nearly identical point totals as the top vote-getters for the NBA All-Defensive Teams.
The 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive First Team features Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (145 points; 63 First Team votes) and Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe (100 points; 36 First Team votes). Smart and Bledsoe are both first-time selections to an NBA All-Defensive Team.
The 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of Philly’s Joel Embiid, New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Klay Thompson and Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard. The NBA All-Defensive First Team consists of Utah’s Rudy Gobert, Oklahoma City’s Paul George, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe and Boston’s Marcus Smart.
The winner of the 2018-19 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award will be revealed at the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on Monday, June 24 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT. The third annual NBA Awards, honoring this season’s top performers, will take place at Barker Hangar in Los Angeles.
|2018-19 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM
||1st Team (2 Pts.)
||2nd Team (1 Pt.)
||Rudy Gobert, Utah
||3 (three 1st)
||Paul George, Oklahoma City
||4 (two 1st, two 2nd)
||Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee
||2 (one 1st, one 2nd)
||Marcus Smart, Boston
||Eric Bledsoe, Milwaukee
|2018-19 NBA ALL-DEFENSIVE SECOND TEAM
||1st Team (2 Pts.)
||2nd Team (1 Pt.)
||Jrue Holiday, New Orleans
||2 (one 1st, one 2nd)
||Klay Thompson, Golden State
||Joel Embiid, Philadelphia
||2 (two 2nd)
||Draymond Green, Golden State
||5 (three 1st, two 2nd)
||Kawhi Leonard, Toronto
||5 (three 1st, two 2nd)