Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo One Game Away From Breaking Shaquille O’Neal’s 15-Year-Old Playoff Record

Published 07/18/2021, 10:40 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 14: Professional basketball player and NBA sports analyst, Shaquille O’Neal ESPN Gala: ’30 For 30: This Magic Moment’ Screening during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theatre on April 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)


Giannis Antetokounmpo, exactly eight years ago, as an 18-YO, had declared how he would become better at everything. Additionally, he had also accepted his admiration for Kevin Durant and a dream to leave the streets of Greece to join the NBA. Perhaps that interview worked as a blueprint/checklist for the youngster who achieved everything he claimed.

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In 2021, Giannis knocked out his idol’s team (Nets) in the conference semis and is now all set to lift his first NBA title. A faster, higher, and stronger freak will certainly not play in the Olympics after the Czech team eliminated Greece, but he still has a lot to prove on the NBA court. One of those things has something to do with a former big man in the league.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo chasing Shaquille O’Neal

The 26-YO has so far played 20 games in the NBA Playoffs 2021, missing two because of his knee injury. In those many games, the 2x MVP is averaging a whopping 29.2 points, 12.8 rebs, 5.3 assists, 1.1 steals, and a block. But more importantly, he is doing all this with a better 2-point shooting than he ever managed in a playoff series.

Currently, Giannis’ FG% is 56.5 and he has maintained a 50+ percentage from the field for 13 straight games now. This already meant he broke Shaq’s 1995 record of 12 such consecutive games. And now, he is just one more game away from beating Shaq’s huge career record.

One such record is tough to break because getting to play 14 playoff games in a season is a task in itself. 

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What are the chances the Milwaukee Bucks leader can achieve this feat?

Now, one must remember how Giannis Antetokounmpo had scored 16/16 from the field and 3/3 from downtown in the ASG 2021. That was the teaser of the former DPOY’s potential when star pieces are placed around him. 

Currently, the Bucks have two performing assets (as Shaq had Dwyane Wade) in Khris Middleton & Jrue Holiday. These two are helping Giannis with floor spacing, allowing him to play his natural game. Given all this and the importance of Game 6, the chances are very high that the Freak will come on top of The Big Shamrock’s record.

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Jul 6, 2021; Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) moves to the basket against Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) during the first half in game one of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

However, Shaq’s 2006 playoff run will still be a better show for many viewers because he did it at the age of 34. Plus, he achieved those numbers even as his confidence from the free throw line was plummeting.

To sum up, there’s one more thing that Giannis would like to replicate from Shaq’s 2006 season. Just as the Heat had overcome a 0-2 deficit to finish the series in six games, the Freak would want to do the same.

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Watch this story – Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Most Heated Playoff Moments

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Sourabh Singh

1444 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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