It is in the skill that the block of Antetokounmpo stands out. What is particularly noteworthy in the game is that Antetokounmpo was initially protecting Booker with a pick and roll switch when the pass was thrown. But because Antetokounmpo is so fast, athletic and tall, he was able to both slightly disrupt Booker’s pass, then recover to meet Ayton at the edge. Antetokounmpo might be the only NBA player who can cover so much ground in such a short time.
“The honest thought going through my head was more or less a kind of shock and awe,” Bucks guard Pat Connaughton said upon seeing the block up close. He added, “In my opinion this is the best block ever. Obviously we are a bit biased and you can also talk about the LeBron block. “
There is great uncertainty as to whether the Antetokounmpo bloc will be the subject of discussions in the years to come. History remembers the winners, and if the Bucks win this series, this block will be considered a turning point. If the Suns remove it, the piece will likely be a footnote. James, Adebayo and Prince all have one thing in common: All of their teams have won their streaks.
An example of the aftermath that erased an outstanding block in the playoffs is that same Pistons team Prince was on in 2004. In the previous series, Detroit faced the Nets in the semifinals. The series was tied at two. In Game 5, with the Nets up 2, Prince Chauncey Billups’ teammate had an open layup with four seconds left that would have tied the game. Nets forward Richard Jefferson apparently came out of nowhere to block the shot. He appeared to save the game for the Nets. But the advance will not last. Detroit improbably tied the game after a desperate half-field push by Billups. The Nets ultimately won the game, but the Pistons won the series and ultimately a championship – pushing Jefferson’s block out of sight.
Basketball stars are often judged for their scoring ability, and Antetokounmpo is among the best in the league in this category. However, as shown on Wednesday night, he is one of the few top scorers to carry his team on both sides of the court.
Former Defensive Player of the Year, Antetokounmpo is one of the best defensive assistants – essentially a player who scours the ground to wreak havoc on opposing teams. It wasn’t just the block on Ayton in the fourth quarter Wednesday night, for example. With 8:09 left in the fourth and the Suns threatening to walk away with a 5-point lead, Antetokounmpo used his long arms to intercept a back pass, led him down the length of the floor and the soaked to achieve another change of momentum.
Less than five minutes later, with the Bucks at 3, Antetokounmpo deflected another pass – from point guard Chris Paul – and threw it at point guard Jrue Holiday for a quick break, Antetokounmpo’s third steal of the night. The next possession, Antetokounmpo blocked Paul, who is a great finisher around the rim, then assisted on Connaughton’s 3-point green light. Aside from scoring 26 points, taking 14 rebounds and distributing eight assists, Antetokounmpo was just as powerful defensively – and that’s not something many NBA players can claim.