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Giannis Antetokounmpo is the NBA’s most unique superstar. But will that be enough?

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We are ready for Antetokounmpo in Game 7.

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics - Game Five Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Any team that employs Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to be a little strange. Antetokounmpo is not merely a forward, nor is he really a guard. He can play the five, but you better have the right players around him to make it work.

That’s the eternal conundrum of the Milwaukee Bucks: How do you build around arguably the most unique player the sport has ever seen?

Think about that for just a moment. Even the most amazing of prodigies fit into some kind of positional window. Magic Johnson was a really big point guard. Michael Jordan was a wing. LeBron James is a forward. Even fellow unicorns like Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Nikola Jokic are big men of one sort or another.

Antetokounmpo is simply Antetokounmpo. In five years in the league, he’s gone from curiosity to star to top-10 player in the league. He’s the Bucks best scorer, rebounder, rim protector, and playmaker. That’s an absurd combination of skills to be packaged into a 23-year-old’s body who has also displayed a remarkable ability to stay healthy.

Now, what do you do with that?

To their credit, the Bucks tried to get as weird as their star. They loaded up on long and lean defenders and employed an aggressive scheme that emphasized forcing turnovers and generating deflections. It was a cool experiment, but the league caught up and its weaknesses outweighed its strengths.

That cost Jason Kidd his job in late January, and interim coach Joe Prunty managed to reign in the scheme and play a more conventional style. The Bucks went 8-2 after the switch but were mostly mediocre after the all-star break.

There’s a glass half full/half empty quality to this team. They’ve made the playoffs three of the last four years and their 44 wins were the most since the 2010 season when Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings were running the show. On the other hand, they have yet to achieve a postseason breakthrough, and at some point incremental progress feels like maintaining the status quo.

Flawed though the Bucks are, the danger in drawing Milwaukee as a first-round opponent is Antetokounmpo will be the best player on the floor.

And flawed as they are, the Celtics have homecourt advantage, and homecourt has been a decisive edge in this series.

Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Six Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

All of that will make for compelling theater on Saturday night when Antetokounmpo takes on the Garden in Game 7 for the right to play Philly in the second round. That’s the ending this series deserves, because neither team has been able to stake out a definitive position through the first six games.

Save for a couple of blowouts either way, every other game in this series has come down to the final minutes. Often it has come down to Antetokounmpo. He was oddly passive in Game 5, but a monster in Game 6 with 31 points and 14 rebounds and several key plays down the stretch.

Really, you can’t ask for anything more from a first-round series that has produced close games amid less than stellar execution. Take one of the best young players in the league, place him in a hostile environment in a winner-take-all contest, and see what he can do.

Antetokounmpo will have to be great on Saturday because there’s no telling who among his supporting cast will show up to play. (Khris Middleton being the obvious exception.)

Malcolm Brodgon had his moments in Game 6, but Eric Bledsoe was once again lost in the ether throwing bizarre passes and getting beat on defense. Will Thon Maker be effective on the road? Will Jabari Parker’s offense offset his defensive limitations?

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to trust the Bucks in this spot, but then, it’s not easy relying on the C’s either. Their starting lineup featured Al Horford and four guys on rookie contracts. Without an obvious go-to scoring option, their offense has come in spurts.

Jayson Tatum can be that guy, but he doesn’t do it consistently enough at this point in his career. Same for Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier. When he wasn’t shooting them out of the game, Marcus Morris nearly brought them back into it until he went cold again. As for Horford, one game after going for 21-and-14, he took only eight shots.

It’s entirely possible that the moment will be too big for Milwaukee on Saturday. It’s also possible homecourt will not save the Celtics. What we do know is that the game will hinge on Antetokounmpo. If he can be great, the Bucks have a chance to steal this series. If not, they will have punted another year of his tenure.

These are the moments that make young stars and define the arcs of young teams. Game 7 in the Garden is the perfect stage. Honestly, both teams would probably take it.