Rivers praises Giannis and his dominance
The Milwaukee Bucks are having a slow start so far this season with a 6-7 record while sitting on 11th place in the eastern conference. The defending champs are not looking as dominant as they were in the last season when they stormed through the regular season and won the title. However, the main reason for them underperforming so far is the absence of their second-best player Khris Middleton who is still recovering from an injury and should join the team relatively soon, which will definitely be a significant boost for them.
However, despite Buck's struggles, Giannis still produces big numbers averaging 26.6 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. In a recent interview for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers had a lot of praise for Giannis, calling him the most dominant player in the NBA. Rivers also admires that Giannis overcame his free-throw shooting problems in the playoffs last season and delivered big time in front of the opposing crowd when everyone was against him.
"I don't like gushing over another guy, but what he did last year was amazing. … They lost back-to-back games in the playoffs, he struggled at the free-throw line. He goes on the road. He has 20,000 people counting [the seconds before his free throws] — hell, we were counting when we played him — and then he takes that to the last two games. He's the most dominant player in the NBA. He makes free throws. He was defiant almost."
Giannis is a defiant player
Giannis was really struggling from the foul line, and we all remember fans counting until ten when he was standing at the free-throw line getting ready to shoot. At one point, it was evident they were starting to get into his head, but he overcame it and made those shots when it mattered the most. That was when he gained the ultimate respect from Doc Rivers, who is positive not too many players would be able to overcome that pressure, let alone lead their teams to the NBA championship.
"That's what I liked about him. He's just defiant. "I know I'm not making free throws. I'm still going to keep driving. I'm still going to keep attacking. I'm going to still step up to the free-throw line, and eventually, I'm going to make them.' He may have been the only one who believed that at times. But the fact that he had a fan club of one was probably the reason he is who he is."
The Bucks still haven't sounded off the panic alarm, but if they don't grab a few wins in the upcoming games, things might get testy. Giannis can't do it by himself, and even though Rivers calls him the most dominant player in the NBA, nobody can do it by themselves no matter how good they are. When Middleton returns, the Bucks will get a much-needed boost, especially on offense, but until then, we might even see Giannis elevate his game to help the Bucks win more games and at least get back into the playoff spot.