The Game Of Thrones: Part 1
There was a very good reason for that tingling feeling in your parts last night — the first act of one of the most anticipated duels this year was on display. The Greek Freak vs The King. Giannis Antetokounmpo vs LeBron James.
It is safe to say that by now everyone who has remotely heard about that game where you shoot a ball through an orange circle knows who Giannis is. Half human, half octopus Giannis is rising through the NBA ranks so fast that talks about his MVP eligibility this year have serious backing in reality.
2017 NBA All-Star and the Most Improved Player award holder has been filling stat lines and getting better year by year in each and every trackable metric. Last year he posted numbers that looked like this — 22.9 pts, 8.7 reb, 5.4 ast, 1.6 stl, 1.9 blk per game. This year? So far through two games, it looks like this — 35.5 pts, 10.5 reb, 5.5 ast, 3 stl, 0.5 blk (including the game against Cleveland). No wonder the guy went as the 1st pick in many fantasy drafts this year — the most accurate indicator of freaks of the nature.
Is he freaking amazing? Yes! So there is only one question left — is Giannis better than LeBron? Is this the season the King gets dethroned? Because, if that will prove to be true, the MVP title will only be a logical consequence.
Watching Giannis going against LeBron last night was surreal. It was quite literally like the scene from the Godzilla movie where the good old established giant lizard had to defend its territory (The Earth) against this new alien with spiky tentacles. Basically, a TL;DR version of the Cavs vs Bucks game last nigh.
Wasting no time Giannis went full throttle, torturing Cleveland's bigs under the rim with filthy layups. By the end of the game he had 15 of these kind of finishes.
Giannis has become one crafty passer as well. Mr. Point-forward.
LeBron on the other end just did LeBron things. As per usual.
Unsurprisingly, Mr. James is one of the best passers in the league.
It was pretty darn close throughout the game. But then this sequence happened.
A solid jumper is still one thing that Giannis lacks at the moment. He has been improving, but it is not quite there yet. And he was visibly exhausted by the end of the game.
Giannis finished with 34 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals and 1 block. LeBron — 24 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. But the thing is — LeBron came through when it mattered and at the end of the day Cavs blew Milwaukee out by 19. That tells more than stat lines.
In my book this one goes to James “by points”.
LeBron 1, Giannis 0.
Who you got?