He got what he needed. Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to his spectacular level from the start of the regular season. The Milwaukee Bucks beat the feisty Portland Trail Blazers and the Greek star posted an impressive 37+7+6.
He shook off the burden of a troubled week, in which he suffered without eating or drinking.
To recap, the no.34 of the Bucks received criticism after his game against the Philadelphia 76ers, the missed free throws, and his collision with Montrezl Harrell. In addition, his Bucks had started to drop games, although the win against Portland and Boston’s loss in Chicago reduced the gap in the East – and in the NBA- to just one win.
But the reality is that Giannis was not having the best of times.
Some voices recalled that Kobe Bryant in Miami had similar problems and was revered after putting up 24 points on eight-of-21 shooting run in 2011. He went out to practice and nobody said anything. But with Giannis, quite the opposite, with the word selfishness on the lips of many.
And in relation to the controversy there is another double conflict, which Giannis has to try to bury. First of all, that of free throws. He often goes to the line because his style draws fouls, and after the 4/15 in Philadelphia, he is trying to get back on track. He shot 5/12 against the Blazers.
The Milwaukee Bucks have harshly criticized the lack of protection for the Greek.
“The NBA should be watching the hits that Giannis takes. I think about those connections, and the league should protect him,” explained coach Mike Budenholzer.
So, is there undue harshness on Giannis? Yes. In many cases, it is the only way to stop him, as it was with Michael Jordan in the 80s and 90s. But you can’t justify all his slumps under that premise either.