Giannis Antetokounmpo embracing the Jimmy Butler challenge

2021-05-23T10:46:58+00:00 2021-05-23T10:49:19+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

23/May/21 10:46

An overtime win sprints the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo to the 1-0 lead over the Miami Heat

By Johnny Askounis/

Khris Middleton delivering the game-winning jumper handed the overtime win to the Milwaukee Bucks versus the Miami Heat on Sunday. Giannis Antetokounmpo contributed 26 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, and three steals, and also help limit Jimmy Butler to 17 points.

“He gets the ball a lot. He is going to make a lot of plays and shoot a lot. He draws a lot of attention,” he replied to a question on facing Butler, “You got to be ready to go against him. I love the challenge. Last year, I didn’t have the chance to guard him as much. This year, I am all in for the challenge. I am here to compete and help my team win. He is obviously a great player. You have to stay locked him against him and that is what I am trying to do.”

Butler, 31, was held to 4/22 field goals in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. However, he forced the extra period going past the Greek Freak for the buzzer-beating bucket.

Antetokounmpo, 26, guarding him for most of the contest, had 10/27 field goals. He remains confident in his shooting abilities.

“I just tried to stay aggressive the whole game. I will try to stay aggressive the whole series,” he noted, “Miss or make, I have to keep taking it one possession at a time. Keep having fun. Keep trying to get to my spots. Keep trying to make the right play. As I have said, there are going to be days you make shots and days you are not going to make shots. You just have to keep shooting.”

Middleton, 29, was eventually the difference-maker.

“He was able to get to his stop and rise up. That’s what he does,” said Antetokounmpo, “Having a guy like Khris with the ball down the stretch, you know what is going to come.”

Game 2 is planned to be played Monday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images