There were no defenders nearby. There wasn’t even another team on the court.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s shooting display was nothing spectacular. Dozens, perhaps hundreds of NBA players would knock down a few 3-pointers in a row under the same circumstances.
None has the Greek Freak’s combination of size and athleticism.
So, videos of his perimeter progress quickly made the rounds on social media, serving more as a warning than a highlight. If Antetokounmpo can shoot like that in real games, maybe the Milwaukee Bucks can finish the job and win the title this season.
“I think I’m in a good place right now,” he said.
The Bucks are too, bringing the NBA’s best record into the resumption of the season next week at Walt Disney World.
Even as he won the MVP award last year and built a strong case to repeat this season, a consistent outside shot has been a weakness in Antetokounmpo’s game. The muscular 6-foot-11 forward can go end to end for a dunk in just a few dribbles, but hasn’t been as reliable spotting up to shoot.
The Toronto Raptors exploited that last season, with versatile, big defenders such as Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka who could keep Antetokounmpo from the rim and make him shoot outside. He didn’t make enough of them, and the Raptors charged back from a 2-0 deficit in the Eastern Conference finals en route to their first NBA championship.