Last 30 seconds of Giannis’ career night show why he’s legit MVP contender.

Milwaukee Bucks forward/guard/whatever Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the biggest story of the young season so far. The Greek Freak scored 37 and 34 points, respectively, in his first two games of the season, and topped those two performances with a career-high 44 in Saturday’s 113-110 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Giannis had it going all night long, but it was the last 30 seconds that showed how his versatility makes him a legitimate MVP candidate this season.

31 seconds left

Giannis goes to the free-throw line trailing 110-109 with a chance to give the Bucks the lead. He misses both free throws and heads to the bench in disgust. Turns out, this was probably the worst thing that could have happened to the Blazers.

12.1 seconds left

Antetokounmpo plays harassing defense and finally reaches around CJ McCollum to poke the ball away. It lands in the hands of Malcolm Brogdon, who hits Giannis at halfcourt. Giannis then takes ONE DRIBBLE, loads up and flushes down a two-handed dunk from one step inside the free-throw line to put the Bucks ahead 111-110. At this point the Bucks fans are absolutely losing their minds.

4.0 seconds left

Down by a point, the Blazers inbound the ball and it winds up in the hands of 7-foot, 280-pound center Jusuf Nurkic, who bulls his way toward the basket. Who’s waiting there for him? You guessed it. Antetokounmpo raises up and says, “Get that mess out of my house!”

Bucks guard Khris Middleton retrieved the ball and was fouled, knocked down the two free throws, and the Blazers weren’t able to get another shot. Game over. Giannis is a monster. And he’s 22 years old!

So, to recap. In the final 30 seconds, the Antetokounmpo:

  • Stole the ball from a 6-foot-3 smooth-dribbling guard
  • Dribbled past three defenders
  • Dunked from a step inside the free throw line
  • Blocked a 7-foot center at the rim to save the game

He also had eight rebounds, four assists and two steals to go along with his one massive blocked shot and 44 points. Oh yeah, and the best part? He shot 17-of-23 from the field. For you non-math majors, that’s 73.9 percent. When you factor in that he shot 1-4 on 3-pointers, that means that Giannis made 16 of his 19 two-point field goals.

Simply remarkable. And the kid is humble.

“I don’t know, I just tried to play hard, I just tried to keep making plays,” Antetokounmpo said after the game. “And thank God I made some buckets, too.”


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