Nigerian-born Milwaukee Bucks of America basketball star, Giannis Adetokunbo (aka Antetokoumpo) has been tipped to blow Boston Celtics apart in their upcoming play-off second round fixture in USA’s National Basketball Association (NBA).
Antetokounmpo, who is on a roll this season, and is already tipped to emerge most valuable player, added another feather to his cap with a super display in his side’s last game, against Detroit Pistons.
He got 41 points, as The Bucks beat Detroit 127-104 on Monday night, thereby completing a four-game sweep of The Pistons and advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
Milwaukee closed the third quarter with a 17-3 run, taking a 10-point lead into the fourth after Pistons had led much of the way.
Antetokounmpo’s top-seeded Bucks and fourth-seeded Celtics were the NBA’s first two teams to win their opening-round series, sweeping the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons, respectively.
Their Eastern Conference semi-finals series is a rematch of last year’s first-round set that saw the Celtics win in seven games.
Practically from start to finish, The Bucks were statistically the NBA’s best team during the regular season.
They were the only team to win 60 games and easily owned the league’s best net rating (plus-8.6).
This is a major factor, after reaching the playoffs as a seventh seed and getting bounced in the first round last season — by Boston.
Antetokounmpo got to the restricted area more than 10 times per game during the regular season, and shot nearly 75 percent once he got there, shooting 73 percent on 9.5 free-throw attempts per game.
However, Boston’s ability to limit his paint touches — and do so with a singular defender, without fouling — could make or break this series.
After silencing Detroit, who set an NBA record with its 14th consecutive playoff loss, a skid that began in 2008, The Bucks will face Boston in the second round, with their opponents also from a sweep against Indiana.
Bucks coach, Mike Budenholzer said: ”I think it’s important that we take a second tonight. Enjoy it. It’s a good night for Milwaukee. It’s a good night for the Bucks.”