Blake Griffin didn’t put on a pink matador cape and gesture for Giannis Antetokounmpo, means over there, to cost at him, however he would possibly as nicely have. Come to me, massive fella.
And he did, however not typically sufficient, and that’s excellent news for the Nets. The Greek Freak from lengthy distance is usually stuffed with static, a nasty connection.
Within the Bucks’ 86-83 Sport 3 victory, Antetokounmpo in 43 minutes scored 33 factors, and the Nets can reside with that output, contemplating how ineffective he was at occasions. He tried 31 photographs and hit simply 14 of them. He fired up eight 3-pointers and made considered one of them. That’s the reason the sight of Griffin backing up when confronted up on Antetokounmpo, then backing up some extra, figures to be seen early and infrequently Sunday afternoon in Sport 4 at Fiserv Discussion board.
“You don’t actually guard him one-on-one, you guard him by committee,’’ Griffin mentioned Saturday after observe. “For essentially the most half, we’ve carried out a stable job. I do know he’s obtained factors right here and there, he had factors within the final recreation, however we’re simply attempting to make it powerful on him. Being bodily, giving him some house, however he’s a two-time MVP so he’s going to get photographs. You’ll be able to’t overreact to sure issues. We’ve obtained to remain on it and tweak a number of issues and be higher, however total, I feel we’ve carried out a stable job.’’
Griffin in half-hour was not a lot of an element on offense, with simply 5 factors, however his capability to remain in entrance of Antetokounmpo is important to the Nets’ defensive recreation plan. The task for some stretches went to Nic Claxton and Kevin Durant, who additionally took a shot at Antetokounmpo. If Jeff Inexperienced, listed as questionable with a left foot harm, is ready to make his collection debut, he’s one other physique to throw into the combination.
If Antetokounmpo desires to jack up photographs from past the arc, Griffin, or anybody else in a Nets uniform, is not going to enterprise out to problem him. Antetokounmpo went 1-for-16 on 3-pointers within the first spherical, however the Bucks had no bother sweeping the Warmth. He’s 3-for-16 in three video games towards the Nets.
“The individual guarding me was far again, however on the finish of the day they’re all the time far again,’’ Antetokounmpo mentioned, explaining his eight 3-point makes an attempt in Sport 3. “Simply choosing and selecting once I really feel good, once I wish to be aggressive, get to my spots as a lot as attainable, attempt to get my teammates concerned as a lot as attainable. However simply being within the second and simply getting one of the best resolution from every second, that was my mindset.’’
The Bucks obtained 79 p.c (68-of-86) of their factors from two gamers, Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, and that unbalanced distribution doesn’t really feel like a successful method. Middleton woke up after a horrid first two video games — he shot 30 p.c from the ground and scored a complete of 30 factors in two Nets victories. He pumped in 35 factors in Sport 3, making 12 of his 25 photographs.
“I don’t assume we performed him with the identical physicality, a minimum of to not begin the sport in Sport 3, however he hit some photographs,’’ Griffin mentioned. “He and Giannis got here out they usually have been very aggressive to start out within the first quarter particularly. So we’ve got to match that depth and match that physicality.’’