Even the best players have a weakness you can try to exploit. Dallas won against the Heat because LeBron wasn’t confident in his outside shot, so they adjusted accordingly. The Celtics baited Kobe into shooting a gazillion times a game. Michael Jordan…well, OK, every rule has an exception.
Your saving grace against Giannis is two things: he doesn’t have an outside shot, and he’s not the best passer. Stagger the paint, and he will still drive because he doesn’t have a shot, and if you pressure him, he won’t always make the right pass to the perimeter. Good luck with that this year.
The passing thing was always a matter of time; Giannis works too hard on his game not to figure those passes out. But it’s not uncommon for freakishly athletic players (Westbrook) to struggle with their shot and add to that rarely has a player of his size have a consistent three-point shot. We saw glimpses of that changing after the New Year when Giannis shot 40-for-125 from beyond the arc. Those numbers equated to a very respectable 32 percent on 3.1 attempts per game.
He is now 12-for-27 (44 percent) over his last five games on an incredible 5.4 attempts a night. We see steady improvement in a way that makes Giannis completely unguardable. If this continues, the only thing NBA teams will have left is to get some of those Russian bots to target Giannis online and subliminally shake his confidence on the floor. Here’s how Tracy McGrady and Richard Jefferson explained it:
The only way this Giannis loses in the playoffs because his team couldn’t back him up. If Bledsoe disappears again, and Brogdon is balling in Indiana, that’s a recipe for a dramatic summer full of trade rumors in Milwaukee.