Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn’t named the Defensive Player of the Year, but he certainly came up with the best defensive play of the season when the Milwaukee Bucks needed it most.
With just over a minute remaining in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Antetokounmpo managed to meet Deandre Ayton at the rim as he was trying to go for the one-handed slam. It was an incredible block that sent the crowd at Fiserv Forum into a frenzy.
Considering the Bucks were only up two points when that block occurred, it’s not an exaggeration to say that Antetokounmpo won them the game with that play. Following the crucial win, Antetokounmpo shared his honest thoughts on that game-changing block.
“Just a hustle play. I thought I was doing to get dunked on, to be honest,” Antetokounmpo said. “Going down the stretch, just do whatever it takes to win the game and put yourself in a position that can win the game. I saw the play coming. I saw that Chris Paul was trying to lob, so I just ran vertical toward the rim.”
Antetokounmpo mentioned that his unorthodox approach in that situation actually allowed him to come up with the block.
“As I said, I didn’t jump to block the ball. I jumped toward the rim. I feel like that’s what put me in position to get the block.”
“I thought I was going to get dunked on, to be honest with you.”
Giannis on his game-sealing block in Game 4
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 15, 2021
Several of Antetokounmpo’s teammates praised his block during their postgame press conferences.
“Shock and awe,” Pat Connaughton said. “The best block of all time. Obviously we’re a little biased. As impressive as it gets.”
Milwaukee will be back in action on Saturday night for what will be a pivotal Game 5.