To the very long and constantly growing list of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s skills, please add “Knick-killer.” Last year, in three games, he averaged 28.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.3 steals, and 3.7 blocks. (Terrifyingly, this year these are starting to look like normal Giannis numbers against even competent opponents.)
He won two of those, and the most memorable concluded on this Jan. 4 buzzer-beater: a basically Transatlantic stepback that he finished from Greece, right over Lance Thomas’s noble, mortal defense.
I was there; it was so cool I couldn’t even be mad.
Facing the Knicks for the first time this season last Friday, Giannis piled up 29 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, two steals, and two blocks, sealing the win with this muscly, pirouetting finish. You knew the game was over as soon as Enes Kanter shuffled into the mismatch. This particular spin move just answered the question of how it would happen.
Tonight, Giannis returns to Madison Square Garden. The Knicks have lost three in a row and three days ahead of the trade deadline are coping with some mild, typical internal drama, such as the old, overpaid center who doesn’t play and hates them and the young, underpaid center who doesn’t play and hates them. I can only imagine what terrors Giannis will inflict on their team tonight.