Giannis Antetokounmpo has been effectively slowed down by the Miami Heat

Miami Heat defend Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images)
Miami Heat defend Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /

How Miami has slowed down Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Miami Heat has exposed some weaknesses in Giannis Antetokounmpo’s game. This is surprising considering he will likely soon be named back-to-back NBA MVP. Giannis has already won Defensive Player of the Year, but still has a lot of room to grow in his game.

Giannis needs to improve how he reads the game and sometimes tends to force the issue which results in offensive fouls. Giannis is often in foul trouble and needs to have better discipline in order for the Milwaukee Bucks to play up to their potential.

For the series, Giannis is shooting 3-14 from 3-point range and 28-47 from 2-point range. From the free-throw line, Giannis is shooting 22-41. Making 53.6 percent of his free throws and 21.3 percent of his 3-point attempts are not the type of numbers that will get it done against a well-balanced team like the Heat.

More from Sir Charles In Charge

Giannis is still the best transition player in the league because of his long strides and ability to get to the rim with force and agility. However, in the halfcourt, he often struggles to generate quality shots against a set defense. The Heat has many bodies to throw at Giannis with Jae Crowder, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Derrick Jones Jr., and Andre Iguodala all doing an admirable job of slowing down Giannis. The Heat does a great job of forming a wall against Giannis, therefore not allowing him the room to operate and get into the paint easily.

Another reason the Heat have the Bucks on the brink of elimination is that they have an elite closer in Jimmy Butler. Butler is great at drawing fouls and has made 38-46 free throws in only four games. Averaging 11.5 free throws per game puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the Bucks’ defense and has really made Butler one of the standout players in the playoffs.

Butler has outplayed Giannis in this series and has been great in the fourth quarters proving that the Heat has a chance to win any game with Butler controlling a majority of the possessions down the stretch. Through four games, Butler has scored 41 points in the fourth quarter and overtime including outscoring the Bucks by himself 17-13 in their Game 3 win, 115-100.

To make matters worse, Giannis sprained his right ankle twice during the series and couldn’t return to the game after re-injuring it during the second quarter of Game 4. The Bucks won that game 118-115, largely thanks to the heroics of Khris Middleton who scored nine points in overtime.

The Heat is a well put together team and a terrible matchup for the Bucks, who are on the brink of elimination down 3-1 in the series.

The Heat has the team to beat the Bucks because they have the defenders to match up with Giannis and a ball movement-oriented offense that keeps the Bucks’ defense guessing. The Heat is averaging 25.7 assists per game for the series. Giannis may not be available to play for the Bucks in Game 5 due to his ankle injury and the team will need to rely on Middleton to knock down jumpers consistently to have a realistic chance of extending the series.

Next. New York Knicks: 3 trade packages that could land LaMelo Ball. dark

The Bucks’ early playoff exit could have Giannis looking to play elsewhere when he becomes a free agent. This series has proven that the Bucks still have a lot to improve on if they ever want to win an NBA title with Giannis.