Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bucks Star Giannis Antetokounmpo Puts on a Show in Playoff Win over Toronto

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bucks Star Giannis Antetokounmpo Puts on a Show in Playoff Win over Toronto

Article excerpt

The Greek Freak lives up to his billing

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TORONTO - With under two minutes remaining Saturday, Raptors star DeMar DeRozan rose majestically and extended the hand holding the ball towards the rim.

Beneath the basket, Giannis Antetokounmpo elevated like Inspector Gadget and sent the ball flying with his right hand. Then as DeRozan fell away to the right of the basket, the Milwaukee Buck known as the Greek Freak celebrated to the left.

Leading by 19, Milwaukee had the game well in hand. But it was an exclamation point for the young Bucks en route to their 97-83 upset win over Toronto in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

The 22-year-old Antetokounmpo pumped his right hand and gave DeRozan a look over his shoulder, earning a somewhat questionable technical foul.

Antetokounmpo, noting he hasn't seen much of the playoffs, said afterwards he was just caught up in the energy of the sellout crowd of 20,133 at the Air Canada Centre.

"I wasn't doing anything towards DeRozan. I was just excited," he said. "But it was the right call. I'll learn. Next time I'll be less excited."

That may be difficult. Antetokounmpo brings excitement -- a six-foot-11, 222-pound athletic splinter of a man who can do it all. He can bring the ball down the court at breakneck speed, slash through a defence, stop and put up a shot or feed a teammate.

The Bucks star finished with a career-high 28 points on 13-of-18 shooting from the field, adding eight rebounds and three assists.

"Giannis is a special player and he can cause a problem by getting two or three players on him," said Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd.

"The defence just focuses so much on him," echoed Thon Maker, a seven-foot-one centre from South Sudan whose basketball journey took him to the Athlete Institute Basketball Academy in nearby Orangeville.

Milwaukee used the attention on Antetokounmpo to move the ball and get open looks, finishing with 22 assists. …

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