Giannis Antetokounmpo just came off of an MVP campaign in the NBA last season and is widely considered to be one of the best players in the league. He has singlehandedly turned the Milwaukee Bucks into one of the best teams in the entire NBA so it’s no surprise there were high hopes for his native Greece going into the FIBA Basketball World Cup. After winning their first game, Antetokounmpo and company took on Brazil in the second match which went down today.
Surprisingly, Brazil won the game 79-78 and kept Giannis to just 13 points in 28 minutes of playing time. After the game, Brazil head coach Aleksander Petrovic had some harsh words for Antetokounmpo, saying he wasn’t worried about the star and that keeping him off the score sheet isn’t all that hard.
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“Why this sport is wonderful? On the other side, you have a guy who won the MVP, he’s 23 years old and who stops him tonight? The guy who is 40 years old and kicks his ass on the court. That’s basketball,” Petrovic said according to Euro Hoops.“We showed that we have several players who can stop Antetokounmpo. But yesterday I was more occupied with (Kostas) Sloukas and (Georgios) Printezis and that’s what happened today. When I was preparing this game, a lot of people talked and joked about how to stop Antetokounmpo. I had for six months in my head, since the semifinals between Toronto and Milwaukee, how to stop Antetokounmpo. The problem tonight for us was Sloukas and Printezis.”
Petrovic does make a good point as the Raptors were able to make Giannis a non-factor in the last four games of the series. Regardless, it’s interesting to see a coach be so quick to dismiss Giannis considering his pedigree as a player.