“Call Him The Freak”: Jrue Holiday Extols Giannis Antetokounmpo After Iconcic Clutch Alley-Oop

Published 07/18/2021, 2:07 AM EDT
Jul 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) shoots the ball as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) defends in the first half during game five of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Once the Lakers and then the Nets faced playoff elimination, many fans believed the NBA Finals would become a no-show. But the Bucks and the Suns are proving everyone wrong with a very highly competitive series on the show. If anything, Game 5’s final sequence involving Giannis Antetokounmpo & Jrue Holiday became testament to the level of this series.

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The Phoenix Suns started Game 5 with three of their starting five posting 100% FG accuracy in Q1. However, with the rise of Jrue Holiday, the defensive sunset soon forced a Phoenix crowd to show nervousness and their players to lose precision. 

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Breaking down Jrue Holiday’s historic steal & the assist to Giannis Antetokounmpo

In the last five games, the NBA Finals 2021 has given a handful unforgettable moments. Be it Giannis’ block on Deandre Ayton, Chris Paul’s crossover on the Freak, or Cameron Johnson’s dunk over PJ Tucker, these were historic time frames. 

The latest addition to this list became Jrue Holiday’s steal from Devin Booker with 20 seconds remaining in a one-point game. A triple-teamed DBook could not clear the traffic and just as he tried to find Chris Pul, Jrue stole the ball from him. In a hysterical sense, it was like watching a kid snatching a lollipop from his foe. 

However, the steal was only one part of the combination that later saw Jrue sending an aerial pass towards the Freak. Now, here the problem with the Suns was that Chris Paul was running towards Jrue and Mikal Bridges was too late to check Giannis. As a result, the Freak could convert an alley-oop when no one saw it coming.

In the interview later, this was how Jrue reacted to the crazy assist and a tough pick – 

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What were some other important factors that contributed to the Bucks’ win?

For one, Bobby Portis with his threes & And-one was phenomenal. Additionally, it was Pat Connaughton with four daggers who ensured that perimeter shooting remained at par with the Suns. Later in Q4, even Khris Middleton joined the party with back-to-back threes when the Suns were quickly closing the lead.

Interestingly, at one point in the game, the Bucks had PJ Tucker (6’5”) as their smallest member on the court against a small-ball Suns unit. All that led to the Bucks scoring 79 points in 24 minutes, squeezing the juice out of the Suns’ porous defense. 

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Jul 17, 2021; Chris Paul (3) passes the ball in front of P.J. Tucker (17) during game five of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Entering Q4, it was Devin Booker with his +4 in plus/minus with his entire team on the backfoot. Actually, the Suns were very impressive with shooting from every space on the court, it was just their defense that they lost.

So what would you say, will the next match in Milwaukee be the last from the season? Help us know in the comments below.

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Watch this story – Rarely Known Facts about Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Sourabh Singh

1424 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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