‘Greek Freak’ leads Bucks back from midseason slump

Giannis steps up for streaking Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo

It wasn’t that long ago the Milwaukee Bucks appeared to be a team in disarray.

A five-game mid-February losing streak had dropped them from near the top spot in the East and raised questions to whether Mike Budenholzer was the right coach for this team. But then the Bucks reeled off five straight wins to climb back up to third in the Conference and silence the doubters in the process. And just like that, the Bucks looked solid once again.

And leading the way, as always, was their two-time MVP big man Giannis Antetokounmpo. During the win streak, the man known as the “Greek Freak” was his usual dominant self only bumped up a notch, averaging 35.6 points, 13.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 55.0 percent from the floor.

His stalwart play was certainly on display in the Bucks’ Feb. 28 home game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Trailing 81-77 after three quarters, he took over in the fourth and scored 17 of the Bucks’ final 22 points on perfect 6-for-6 shooting – including a clutch three-pointer – to lead Milwaukee to a 105-100 victory over the Clips, one of the top teams in the NBA. It also helped relieve something of a bugaboo for the Bucks, who had only won once this season when trailing or tied entering the final period.

Giannis and the Bucks get a national TV two-fer this week, a pair of home games against the Boston Celtics airing Wednesday and Friday, March 24 and 26, on ESPN.

Player Profile

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Name: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Birth date: Dec. 6, 1994

Birthplace: Athens

Height/weight: 6 feet, 11 inches/242 pounds

Teams: Fliathlitikos B.C. (2012-13); Milwaukee Bucks (2013-present)

College: none

Draft: Taken in the first round (15th overall) by the Bucks in 2013

Position: Power forward

No.: 34

Honors and achievements: Two-time NBA MVP; five-time NBA All-Star; two-time All-NBA first team; two-time All-NBA Second Team; NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2020) two-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team; NBA Most Improved Player (2017); NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2014)

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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