By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
In almost every Milwaukee Bucks game there’s always the same scenario. Giannis Antetokounmpo having to face the “Wall,” the defensive strategy that opponents use against him in order to stop him from reaching basket with devastating drives and, usually, finish the play at the rim.
In a way, this tactic has helped Antetokounmpo to further develop the passing aspect of his game that he was already working on since he has to think and act quickly to find the open teammate. Here’s what Giannis said on the Wall in the presser ahead of Game 4 (14/7) of the NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns:
The first time I saw the wall was probably two years ago. But I was always capable of passing before that. It’s something that I always liked to do. I had coaches and people throughout my career that helped me with finding the right guy, finding the right pass, making the right play. But once I started seeing the wall, two years ago, now it’s almost, it’s about trust. And it’s kind of hard, because you want to be effective, you want to get downhill, you want to do everything, but now you also — and you take it personal also. There’s a team that’s building the wall of three people and two guys behind and trying to stop you. 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 now. I’m doing it better. I’m finding, I’m trusting my teammates. I’m finding guys. But I was always a capable passer before the wall was created, which is funny that there’s a defense out there called the Giannis Wall. It’s funny to me, you know? So it’s crazy.
But at the end of the day, I just got to keep focusing on myself, keep focusing on what I have to do, how can I put my teammates in a position to be successful and be aggressive throughout everything.
Antetokounmpo acknowledged that maybe it’s a bit flattering that there’s something with a specific name that is designed with the focus of stopping him. That doesn’t mean he enjoys it though.
“You have to take it as a compliment,” Giannis said. “You always have to find the fun factor in everything. In that, in the free throw, “1, 2, 3, 4,” whatever. The thing is, you always got to find the fun factor.
:So, yeah, it is a compliment that there’s got to be three people in front stopping me from getting in the paint and building that wall,” Giannis added. “But, yeah, I hate it, though (laughter). I’m not going to lie; I hate it. But at the end of the day, you got to figure out a way to play through it.”
Giannis and the Bucks are taking on the Suns for Game 4 after grabbing their first win in the series in Game 3. The Greek Freak had a historic performance of 41 points and 13 rebounds to become just the second player with 40+ points and 10+ boards in consecutive Finals games after Shaquille O’ Neal.