Giannis Antetokounmpo named NBA Finals MVP in Bucks championship win
Posted On July 21, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo rounded out the most valuable trio of his career by being named NBA Finals MVP Bill Russell on Tuesday night after the Milwaukee Bucks 105-98 win over the Phoenix Suns at the Fiserv Forum.
Antetokounmpo becomes the 11th player in league history to win Regular Season MVP (2018, 2019), Finals MVP (2021) and All-Star Game MVP (2021). He and Michael Jordan are the only players to claim these honors and also a Defensive Player of the Year award.
He also joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only Bucks players to win regular season and finals MVPs. They are two of 17 players to have won this distinction in league history.
Antetokounmpo is also the fifth international player to win the award (Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki).
NBA FINALS:Bucks finish Suns for first championship in 50 years
“I remember the summer after winning my first MVP, I was happy. I was happy with my family, but at the same time I was unhappy,” said Antetokounmpo, cradling MVP trophies and Larry O ‘ Brien. “Like everywhere I’ve been, it was like, MVP. It’s done. It’s over. It’s done. It’s in the past. I have to do it again. And I was able to do it again. This year I couldn’t do it. I don’t know why, but okay.
“But that’s a feeling, like an addicting feeling. I love playing in the playoffs. I love playing in the final. These are the times I want to chase. I want the team to play. press this and hope we can do it again. “
It seems unlikely to believe that even playing in the final was a real issue for Antetokounmpo. He suffered hyperextension of his left knee in the Eastern Conference Finals on June 29 and found a way to play in Game 1 on July 6. on four assists.
“For him to be back in a final game overall was weird,” said Pat Connaughton. “And then for him to do what he’s been doing throughout this final was amazing.”
He followed it up by making history in every game thereafter:
It was his 10th playoff game with at least 30 and 12, joining Shaquille O’Neal, Olajuwon, Elgin Baylor and Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to have so many in a season.
His 20 points in the fourth quarter were the most points scored in a playoff season since Michael Jordan had 22 in 1993 against the Suns.
He joined O’Neal as the only players to have at least 40 and 10 consecutive finals.
41 points (60.9% shooting), 13 rebounds, six assists
Joined Bob Pettit (1957) as the only players to average at least 30 and 14 in the first three games of his first three finals.
Became one of seven players to score 40 points with a single turnover in a game.
Had the fourth most points scored in his first three Finals with 103.
26 points (57.9% shooting) and 14 rebounds and distributed eight assists – and he offered the signature defensive play of his career and one of the best in final history with a block in the fourth quarter of the Suns center Deandre Ayton.
It was the first block in an attempt to dunk the finals clutch time in the past 25 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
He joined O’Neal as the only player to average 30 points per game on 60% shots in his first four games since 1955.
32 points (60.9% shooting) with nine rebounds and six assists. He also claimed the ball on a soaring alley-oop dunk on Chris Paul at the end of the game.
Joined Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Kevin Durant and LeBron James as the only players to score 30 and have at least five rebounds and assists and not return the ball since 1978.
He’s the first player in Finals history to average 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists on 60 percent shots.
Saving his best for last, Antetokounmpo turned into a virtuoso performance. He emptied the whole bag, using a pump-over on a three-point to blow through Ayton and finish with a spinning motion. He knocked down a three. He made 17 of his 19 free throws. He hit jumpers, layups and finished at the rim to win the series with 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.
“I don’t know how many words you have to use beyond 50 points in a closing game in an NBA Finals,” Bucks center Brook Lopez said. “Summarizes pretty much everything. “
“It’s kind of like Brook said, it’s great to have a front row seat and watch him and it’s amazing because he’s an even better human being than he is. a basketball player, ”Connaughton added. “We’ve all seen what he does on the bigger stage now after winning his first NBA Finals Championship and being the MVP of the Finals, but he’s an even better person.”
It was his 12th game of the playoffs with 30 points and 10 rebounds, tying Elgin Baylor for second in a single playoff series in NBA history.
He joined O’Neal (2000) as the only player with three or more 40 and 10 games in a single NBA Finals.
He became the first player with 40 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in a playoff game since O’Neal (2001).
He became the first player to record multiple 30-point halves in a single NBA Finals in the past 40 years.
With 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.8 blocks, he became the first player in NBA history to average 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and a against over 50% of shots in a single set in the playoffs.
Antetokounmpo averaged 35.2 points (on 61.8% shots), 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.
“It’s hard to find more words to describe what Giannis does,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said. “But the way he did his free throws, the way he did everything, stepped up, the balance, the confidence, the leadership. He worked on it. We say we want Giannis to hit the line. free throws. We believe. We talked about it last summer. To win a championship, you have to throw free throws and you have to throw throws. He’s been throwing all the way through the playoffs. He’s throwing throws. frank throughout the playoffs. Shots blocked, however many points. He is part of the charts.