Nigerian-born basketball star, Giannis Adetokunbo (Antetokounmpo) has been tipped to catapult Milwaukee Bucks to another stunning outing on Sunday, when his side roll out against Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of their NBA Eastern Conference final.
This is the verdict of The Bucks’ coach, Mike Budenholzer, who recalled how Antetokounmpo’s hot start to Game 2 inspired his team to a 125-103 victory and a 2-0 series lead.
The Bucks’ coach recounted that Antetokounmpo, who was named as one of three finalists for the regular season MVP award on Friday, opened the game with two huge dunks as the Bucks raced into a 9-0 lead.
‘The Greek Freak’ then finished the first quarter with eight points, four rebounds, three assists, a steal and a huge block on Raptors center Marc Gasol having provided the Bucks with the perfect platform.
With Antetokounmpo showing the way, the East’s No 1 seeds went on to steamroll The Raptors, establishing a 25-point half-time lead before completing a victory that doubled their series advantage.
“He plays so hard. He lays it all on the line all the time. It was a great start for us, everybody fed off of Giannis and how he started the game.
“To come out and start Game 2 with that kind of effort on both ends of the court, it’s what you’re looking for.
“We’ve just got to keep working and keep thinking about getting better. It’s how you want to come into a Game 2,” Budennholzer said.
On his part, Antetokounmpo said his remarkably start to the game was a reflection of the responsibility he has as his team’s go-to player.
He added: “When the game starts, my team-mates are looking at me. As a leader of the team, you’ve got to set a tone and be focused.
“It’s so nice seeing guys coming into the game mentally prepared and playing hard.
“This is the beauty of basketball and our team – we trust one another. On any given night, guys can step up.”