• Kaunda Chama

A statement season for Giannis

Nigerian-Greek forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has led the Milwaukee Bucks to the Eastern Conference finals, a place that the team has not seen since 2001.

This feat could not have come at a better time as it follows an outstanding regular season that saw the team finish at the top of the Eastern Conference ahead of other favourites like the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers.

As one of the frontrunners for the MVP accolade, Giannis has proven that former Bucks coach Jason Kidd’s decision to position him as the leader of the squad after the 2016 All-Star break was the right one.

He finished the regular season averaging a double-double with a career-high 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game with a 5.9 assists per game average. Giannis shot 57.8 percent from the field, 25.6 percent from three-point range and 74.2 per from the charity stripe.

The three-time All-Star also led Milwaukee to a league-leading 60 wins and 22 losses in the 2018-2019 regular season.

The postseason has seen the Bucks sweep the Detroit Pistons in the First Round and make easy work of the Boston Celtics, who were sent on holiday after losing the semi-final series 4-1. They now await the outcome of the Sixers – Raptors semi-finals series which Toronto leads 3-2.

So far in the postseason, Giannis has averaged a career-high 27.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. He has also managed an average of 4.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.6 blocks, one of which came by way of Boston Celtics center Al Horford in the crucial Game 5 victory on Wednesday night.

With a supporting cast that includes Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, Brook Lopez, Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Khris Middleton, it looks highly probable that Milwaukee could take the East and make a much deserved NBA Finals appearance.

This season has been nothing short of spectacular for Giannis, he became an All-Star for the third time and captained his team against LeBron James' team, he finished the regular season at the top of his conference and has remined in the MVP conversation…Now he is ending an 18-year Conference Finals drought in Milwaukee with a chance of going to the Finals.

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