Giannis Antetokounmpo on defensive mentality: “You cannot hope guys miss”

2024-02-19T10:58:38+00:00 2024-02-19T20:54:36+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

19/Feb/24 10:58

Offense dominates the NBA All-Star Game but defense is another part of the sport with former Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo looking at the opposite end of the court

By Johnny Askounis/

The 73rd NBA All-Star Game marked the eighth career appearance for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Besides helping Team East win and adding to multiple scoring records, he talked about the defensive requirements after the contest in Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

“You cannot hope guys miss,” the Freak replied to a question about his approach in defense, “The players are too good. Guys are making shots from half-court. You saw that today. Last All-Star Game before that, I think in Cleveland, I think Steph was doing the same thing. Even guys who are not as good at three-point shooting, can still shoot the ball. You can’t just hope. You have to make it tougher, contest.”

Antetokounmpo, 29, was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. The long list of individual awards stretches to being a member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team between 2019 and 2022.

“My philosophy is kind of drive them off the three. I think that’s what we’ve been doing the last couple of years. Try to make them shoot a tough two. No layups. Protect the paint,” he went into the Milwaukee Bucks, “Send as many people as you can to the paint. No easy layups. Whenever a guy is at the three-point line wide open, you’ve got to fly out to him and make him put the ball on the floor. If he’s going to take a dribble, dribble, dribble three, the chance of that going in is better.”

And of course, he hopes that the MVP performance of Lillard can translate also to the Bucks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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