Sir Alex Ferguson summed it up best when he said “Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles” and it rings true throughout the NBA's illustrious history. Michael Jordan’s strip on Karl Malone, LeBron James’ chase-down block of Andre Iguodala’s dunk, and now Giannis Antetokounmpo has added another memorable defensive moment to the annals with a magnificent block of his own on Wednesday night to deny Deandre Ayton as the Milwaukee Bucks tied level with the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.
After going 2-0 down in the series with a pair of losses on the road in Arizona, the Bucks looked like they were going to potentially fall to the Suns like many others have so far this season. However, just as they managed against the Brooklyn Nets, they’ve taken the series back to the Fiserv Forum and ground out back-to-back victories. It’s a testament to Mike Budenholzer’s continued development as a coach, trying to change his reputation from being a nearly-man who excels in the league but struggles in the postseason.
Last night was a great effort that which provided a lesson in teamwork whilst also showcasing the outstanding talents of the Bucks team. Jrue Holiday made seven assists and seven rebounds, Khris Middleton was the highest scorer with a 40-point game, Giannis was two assists away from a triple-double and Pat Connaughton registered a +21 points differential when he was on the court.
The highlight of the night though was the aforementioned block by Giannis Antetomounmpo. With 71 seconds on the clock and the Suns looking to make it a tie-game, he let Deandre Ayton roll behind him as the Greek Freak attempted to close the angle on Devin Booker, however he managed to turn and take flight in time to smash his right hand through Ayton’s two-handed dunk, leaving an easy rebound for PJ Tucker before going ahead and closing out the game 109-103.
Next on the agenda is a return to the Phoenix Suns arena, with CP3 and co looking to end any Milwaukee hopes of a continued winning streak, with Game 5 taking place Sunday morning (2am GMT) on Sky Sports Arena.