Giannis Antetokounmpo’s personal highlight reel is already getting long at just 27 years old. The two most iconic plays of his career both happened in the 2021 NBA Finals, first when he blocked Deandre Ayton’s alley-oop attempt in Game 3, and then when he finished a Jrue Holiday lob in the final seconds of Game 5. Of course, Giannis has been making absurd plays for much longer than that on his way to two MVP awards, but coming up big in the playoffs has a way of standing out.
Antetokounmpo authored another classic playoff moment in Game 1 of Milwaukee’s second round series against the Boston Celtics. Giannis has to carry the Bucks with co-star Khris Middleton injured, and he put together an incredible effort in a series opening win by the Bucks. The defining moment happened in the fourth quarter, when Antetokounmpo’s attempt to drive was denied twice by Grant Williams, which led him to step-through the defense, toss a lob off the backboard, and hammer it home himself.
Watch the play here.
Williams did all he did to hold up against the drive, only to get Giannis throwing himself a lob off the backboard. There is absolutely no defense for that level of skill and creativity. What a play.
Did Giannis get that idea from Tracy McGrady in the 2022 All-Star Game? While McGrady pulled the move in transition in an All-Star Game, Antetokounmpo tossing himself a lob in a halfcourt setting in a playoff game is just next level problem-solving.
This is a defining Giannis play. He’s going to need a few more of them if the Bucks want to advance past Boston without Middleton.