Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to make a name for himself as one of the best players in the NBA right now, but he knows he will still be picking up lessons along the way. That happened to be the case Friday night when the Bucks lost 108-94 to Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors, and Durant got the best of Antetokounmpo.
“When you guard players like Kevin Durant you just got to make their game as tough as you can,” Antetokounmpo said. “He’s going to get twenty shots up and Durant going to play his game. You just have to go out there and play 110 percent against guys like him and give it your all.” One other thing Antetokounmpo says he’s learned is that you simply can’t stop Kevin Durant. “Kevin was aggressive with me all night so I remained as aggressive as he was being tonight”, said the Bucks’ rising star.
Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd also believes that Antetokounmpo is going through the same type of growing pains that Durant, now 29, dealt with during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Bucks made one of their biggest runs of the night in the 3rd quarter after Antetokounmpo went to the bench with 4 fouls. When Giannis returned to the court, Durant and the rest of the Warriors double-teamed Antetokounmpo, forcing him to take some very tough shots.
“I think you look at all the young players in this league, look at Durant he’s been in the league for some time now,” Kidd said. “He’s gone through the same thing of going against guys that might be a little bit better, that are up for the challenge to slow him down”. However, Giannis is very understanding that no matter whether they are playing Golden State or the Nets, every team is going to get up to guard him and try to slow him down.
“I thought tonight he really did a good job getting his teammates the ball”. We were getting a lot of wide open looks right now that aren’t going in. Giannis continues to stay ready keep driving the ball and making plays for his teammates.” The Bucks don’t seem to concerned with Giannis’ desire to get better. They know he will continue to strive to be the next big superstar in the NBA. But, nights like Friday are there to remind him that he still isn’t on Durant’s level.
Veteran point guard Jason Terry of the Bucks offered his comparison between the two players prior to the game. “Their size and ability to handle the ball at 7 feet tall,” Terry said. “Athleticism obviously. Durant just has that special characteristic that Giannis just doesn’t quite have.” Kevin Durant is very clutch in the big moments when he has to be, and has the ability to take over a game from anywhere on the floor. Right now, Giannis dominates anywhere inside the paint once he develops his outside game like Durant then their might be some comparison between the two, but for right now he’s not on Durant’s level just yet in his career.