‘Defense Wins Championships’: Isiah Thomas Lauds Giannis Antetokounmpo Led Bucks For Taking Down the Nets

Published 06/11/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Jun 10, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) holds onto the ball while guarded by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34), forward P.J. Tucker (17), center Brook Lopez (11) and forward Khris Middleton (22) in the third quarter during game three in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters


The Milwaukee Bucks have successfully squeezed a Game 4 after challenging the series 2-1 against Brooklyn Nets. The Nets displayed sheer dominance in the first two games, leading many to believe that they might sweep the Bucks. But, Mike Budenholzer’s team was cooking something last night. It seems like it’s not going to be an early wrap for Milwaukee.

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The Game 3 matchup that ended with 86-83 in favor of the Bucks turned out to be the Big 3 Nets’ season-low points. Giannis and his army have cut through the Nets’ lead in style, all thanks to their defense.

Jun 10, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) reach for a loose ball in the second quarter during game three in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters

Defense wins championships

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The Bucks were offensively led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, who scored 33 and 35 points, respectively. However, the differentiating factor wasn’t their contributions, rather the defense put up by them against powerhouses like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

PJ Tucker was constantly found restricting Durant throughout the game. As a result of his work on the Nets star, Durant ended up with a shy 30 points. Despite the offensive numbers by Middleton and Giannis, former Pistons star Isiah Thomas pondered upon the cruciality of Bucks’ defense in halting the Nets.

Isiah told, “The last two games they (Bucks) gave up a 122 points average, tonight they give up 83 and they end up winning the game.” Well, that proves to be a dent in Brooklyn’s scoring figures and the credit goes to Bucks’ defending capabilities. Had it not been PJ Tucker tied to Kevin Durant, the end-game score would have looked different.

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“You win the basketball game because you stopped the other team from scoring,..” he added further. “Defense wins championships, defense wins basketball games. And, I thought Milwaukee did an excellent job on a defensive end tonight. With their hustle, with their determination, with their challenging of shots, with their physicality which made it really difficult for Brooklyn to get a rhythm.”

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Can Milwaukee Bucks make it even?

The Bucks accomplished their skills in barring the Kevin Durant attack. Kyrie also chipped in only 22 points compared to earlier phenomenal numbers. Well, if this is the case, Brooklyn Big 3 needs their third man on the court. With the defense playing a winning role in Bucks’ strategy, James Harden’s absence may hurt the Nets even more.

The series is going into Game 4 and Giannis has a big chance to make it even. If their power duo rages coupled with quality defense, Milwaukee Bucks will be up for a terrific comeback. Do you think they can eliminate the season favorites?

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Pavni Ahuja

385 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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