Giannis Antetokounmpo – far from expectation at the FIBA World Cup
Today’s game won by Greece only by 7 points, when they needed at least 12 of margin, it was a big disappointment for all the Hellenic fans. The so praised idol, Giannis Antetokounmpo, MVP of the season in the NBA, finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 turnovers and 3 steals, having only 4/9 FG and 4/8 from the free-throw line. He was eliminated with 5 fouls, 2 of them offensive ones and my impression was that the referees were hostile to Giannis and Co.
Giannis’ big fail is that he didn’t adapt his game a bit more for the FIBA style. He tried to run the whole court driving the ball and penetrating the Czech defense in the way to score as he does in the NBA. The opponents have studied him very well so they were able to help each other, putting Giannis in the difficulty to fight 1 against 3 or 4, which led him to commit turnovers and offensive fouls.
The NBA star finished the FIBA tournament out of top 20 scorers, in a lower position than a lot of average players like Ahmad al-Dwairi, Kyle Wiltjer or Jaromir Bohacik, who are only dreaming of playing in the North-American competition. Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged only 14.8 points per game, which is nothing for an NBA MVP. Imagine LeBron James here at the World Cup playing against the Czech Republic full with role players. He would score at least 40 points.
To understand better the bad numbers of Giannis at Fiba World Cup, think about that the legendary Argentinian center Luis Scola has 17.4 ppg now, at 39 years old! Unfortunately for the Greek Freak, the physical game is not enough in Fiba worldwide competitions. You need to adapt your offense to different circumstances, to a different pace, to a different strategy. If not, the GAME will hunt you down as quickly as possible!
Photo credit: http://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2019