Giannis Antetokounmpo Explains How Teams Building Walls for Him Helped Him to Trust His Teammates More

Published 07/14/2021, 4:27 AM EDT
Jul 11, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots against Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson (23) during the first quarter during game three of the 2021 NBA Finals at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports


Milwaukee Bucks will play in game 4 of the NBA finals tomorrow against the Phoenix Suns. While they are surely a great team, Giannis Antetokounmpo is the main reason for their success. The 2 time MVP has now put up back-to-back 40 point performances in the NBA finals.

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Recently, after game 3, Chris Paul said that they need to form a wall in order to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo in these NBA finals. Now, before game  4, Giannis answered questions regarding him dealing with ‘the wall’.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo on what he learned from ‘the wall’

When asked about ‘the wall’, Giannis spoke about how he has become better at reading the defense and trusting his teammates through time, seeing this kind of defense built just for him. He said:

“The first time I saw ‘the wall, was probably two years ago. But I was always a capable passer before that and it’s something that I always like to do. I had the coaches and people throughout my career that helped me with like finding the right guy, finding the right pass, making the right play.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo then spoke about how at first it was difficult to trust his teammates, and how he has developed his trust now.

Giannis said, “Once I started seeing the wall two years ago, now it’s about trust and it’s kinda hard. Because you wanna be effective, you wanna get downhill, you wanna do everything. You take it personal also like there is a team that is building a wall of 3 people and 2 guys behind them or whatever it might be to try and stop you. And now you have to not take it personal and make the right play, find the right guy. I feel like I did that better since two years ago and now I’m doing it better, I’m trusting my teammates, I’m finding guys.”

He further added that he thinks it is funny how there is a defense called the ‘Giannis wall’ to stop him.

Has ‘the wall’ benefitted Giannis?

Giannis Antetokounmpo mentioned that he saw the wall 2 years ago. Interestingly, that was the first time he won the MVP award. He won yet another MVP award the following year as well. While we know that Giannis is a dominant force offensively, it is his playmaking that developed through seeing these kinds of defenses.

Jul 8, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts during the 118-108 loss against the Phoenix Suns in game two of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The ‘Greek Freak’ is averaging almost 6 assists per game since seeing ‘the wall’. This is a great improvement compared to the 2017-18 season where he averaged 4.8 assists. It has helped him understand the game outside of scoring points. Now, with reliable pieces around him like Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, he has learned how to trust his teammates to deliver when he can not.

However, that has not affected his scoring ability at all. His offensive numbers have only kept increasing since winning the MVP and he is now the centerpiece of the Bucks organization. Currently, he is leading them in points for the playoffs with 29 per game, while averaging 5 assists a game as well.

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He has improved year after year on all aspects of his game which is why he is such a force to reckon with. Heading into game 4 at the Fiserv Forum, Giannis Antetokounmpo & co will now try and level the series.

Jul 8, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) passes the ball against Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) and center Brook Lopez (11) during the first half in game two of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Do you think Milwaukee Bucks will win the NBA finals? Let us know in the comments below.

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WATCH THIS STORY- Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Historic 42-Point Performance, Devin Booker Raining Three’s & Other Milwaukee Bucks vs Phoenix Suns Game 2 NBA Finals Highlights

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Anuj Talwalkar

126 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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