Giannis Antetokounmpo was absolutely unstoppable in the NBA Finals, averaging 35.2 points and 13.2 rebounds per game and leading the Milwaukee Bucks to their first title in 50 years.
Robertson explained his opinion on the two stars during an appearance on Sirius XM NBA Radio.
“I’m very happy that they didn’t get away from Giannis,” Robertson said. “When they got down two or three points, they kept going to him, and he delivered. He made some shots, some 12- or 13-foot shots that I haven’t seen him make before in a long time. If he can do that, I don’t know who can stop him. The only person, I think has the size to give him a decent chance at guarding Giannis, is AD from the Lakers. No one else. I don’t see any other player on defense that’s gonna be able to handle Giannis.”
Davis Among Best Defensive Players When Healthy
Robertson is right. At 6-foot-11 with the ability to get to the rim at will and a developing jump shot, Antetokounmpo’s offensive game has evolved, making him an absolute terror for teams to defend. And if he’s making his free throws like he did in Game 6 against the Suns — going 17-of-19 — he’s unstoppable.
However, Davis is one of the few players long and athletic enough to hang with the two-time MVP. He’s made four All-NBA Defensive teams and is big enough at 6-foot-10, 253 pounds that he should not be bullied by Antetokounmpo, forcing him to shoot more low-percentage jumpers.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel backed Davis as the best defensive player in the league when healthy, which is an important caveat.
“I think he’s the best defensive player in the league when he’s got his legs under him and conditioned,” Vogel said in April.
Davis also takes some obvious pride in his play on the defensive end.
“Defense isn’t about schemes or things like that, it’s about energy and effort,” Davis said last season. “It takes nothing to leave it on the defensive end. You can’t control the offensive end when shots go in and out, but defensively you control how hard you play.”
Antetokounmpo Has Become ‘Face of the League’
LeBron James has been the face of the NBA for quite some time, but that torch might be getting handed to Antetokounmpo — a likable superstar who now has a title under his belt.
Colin Cowherd — host of The Herd — thinks that Antetokounmpo has earned that distinction.
“He just plays harder than everybody else,” Cowherd said. “I like Giannis. I never really thought he was a face of the league. He just didn’t want to be. It didn’t seem to interest him. But in a sort of a backdoor way, a unique way, not the American-basketball-machine way, he is now the face of the league.”
The league as a whole should be healthier next year after a more normal offseason, so we’ll see if Antetokounmpo can hold off the Lakers and other contenders as he continues his continual rise.