‘Help More’: Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard on How to Slow Down Giannis Antetokounmpo

Published 03/01/2021, 12:08 AM EST
Feb 28, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) is defended by LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and center Serge Ibaka (9) in the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports


In the last eight games, the Clippers have alternated between W and L. Continuing with the same pattern, it was time for a loss, and that came against Giannis Antetokounmpo and his fast-paced Bucks. The Clippers lost the game 100-105 and their faltering clutch-time play is to blame for the crushing defeat.

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The LA-based franchise couldn’t curtail the dominance of the Greek Freak, while the Bucks had things figured out against Paul George and others. Even Kawhi Leonard confessed that they could do less to tame Giannis.

Kawhi Leonard spoke highly of Giannis Antetokounmpo

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In the post-game interview, a reporter asked what could they have done differently to stop the Bucks’ leader. To this, Kawhi Leonard answered, “I guess just help more, a lot of times he got to the paint, and no one’s there to help. But he’s a good player, does it every night. I don’t know… that’s why he won the MVP last year and yeah, he’s a great player.”

The Claw did score 25 points, 9 rebs, 3 assists, and 2 steals, but to no avail. His efforts saw dilution in front of the 36-point double-double and four massive blocks from Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Also, the Clippers seemed to be over-relying on the threes, but both Kawhi and Paul George failed to convert those when they mattered the most. An MVP-level play from Giannis and another All-star level help from Khris Middleton left nothing for the Clippers duo.

Read AlsoGiannis Antetokounmpo Matches Michael Jordan and Inches Closer to LeBron James in a Rare NBA Record

When the Greek Freak smothered the rim

In Q4, the Clippers were leading by four points when only 4 minutes were remaining on the game clock. But surprisingly enough, they went scoreless after that and missed six attempts from the three-point range.

As if the fouls and turnovers weren’t bad enough, Giannis’ block of a Kawhi Leonard fadeaway with 2 minutes remaining took everything away from the Clippers.

However, the highlight of the game became the power dunk of Giannis with 11 seconds remaining to make the score 103-101. 

The Greek Freak seals the deal!! pic.twitter.com/1mcxpAJ7ku

— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 28, 2021

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It was a pure team effort that went into this dunk, which made Marcus Morris Sr. look like a high school defender. Jrue Holiday came running to pass the ball to Pat Connaughton in the corner.

Pat did not take a wide-look three attempt but further passed the ball to Khris Middleton. Khris faked a play and directed the ball towards an open Giannis waiting outside the arc.

What followed next was something that every opponent of the Bucks would fear. This was arguably their best victory of the season so far, coming at the right time, just before the All-star break.

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Do you think the Bucks can claim the top spot in EC? Help us know in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1037 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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