“At this point we see him every day. It doesn’t surprise me. He’s physically gifted. That’s a play that only one or two other players in the league can make. That’s how good he is.”
Greg Monroe has seen enough of the ever-improving Giannis Antetokounmpo to know that the young Greek is a special kind of player. The Greek Freak’s fourth triple-double in the last 11 games, the most by a player in a single season in Bucks’ franchise history, was the icing on the cake on Sunday as Milwaukee defeated Brooklyn, 109-100. Antetokounmpo finished with 28 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds.
He almost had a triple-double by halftime (12 points, nine assists and eight rebounds), but in the end he had to wait until there was 4:26 left in the game to notch his triple-double. Had he reached the mark in the first-half he would have been the first NBA player to do so since, you guessed it … his coach, Jason Kidd.
“I was trying to make the right plays and find the open guy,” Antetokounmpo said. “But I’ve also got to stay aggressive. If you’re looking always for the pass, it’s not going to be there.
“So I’ve got to create my own shot. In the second quarter I became more aggressive.”
Back in January, Antetokounmpo, perhaps only half-jokingly at the time, suggested that one of his goals this season was to become the best point guard in the NBA. Since then, Bucks’ coach Kidd has given the Greek more free-reign as an on-court leader and Antetokounmpo has flourished.
“We know what it’s done internally but also growing as a leader on this team,” Kidd said of Antetokounmpo’s development. “When you have the responsibility of four other guys on the floor, making sure everybody gets involved, you have to use your voice or you use the pass.
“He’s learning how to do both of those.”
In the second quarter, Antetokounmpo grabbed the ball at the Nets’ foul line and needed just three dribbles to get to the opposite foul line, where he faked a pass before pounding down a vicious dunk which excited the Bucks’ fans in the Barclays Center crowd — a large section of whom were Greek.
“Did I?,” Antetokounmpo playfully mocked post-game. “It was a great play.”
When Kidd was asked post-game about what he thinks when he sees the 6’11 Antetokounmpo lead a fast-break so effortlessly, he said: “I wish I was that tall.”
Kidd continued: “The pressure that he puts on the defense — I thought he did the best [job] of pushing the pace, it was very fast. I thought he set the pace for his teammates, and everyone [else] was great.”