Scottie Pippen may be regarded as one of the best wing defenders in the history of the NBA, but even he himself doesn't think he would be up for the task of stopping the reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Building a wall no more!
The consensus game plan around guarding Giannis used to be building a wall, closing the lane, and letting him shoot. That tactic proved to be suitable for the earlier part of his career in which the Bucks never managed to make a deep playoff run. But last year, Giannis finally broke through.
Like every great player, Antetokounmpo worked on his flaws and improved vastly, adding a mid-range jumper to his bag, along with a respectable three-point shot. That alone forced defense out of the paint and opened it up for Giannis, who can now punish opponents inside with force or finesse from the mid-range.
Also, the Bucks have constructed the roster perfectly around Giannis, surrounding him with numerous shooters like Kris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Grayson Allen, Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton, and more. That is why the defense has to pick their poison -- let him get to the rim, where he is virtually unstoppable, or risk leaving the shooters open. And with the way the Bucks supporting cast has been on fire since last season, it's really hard to see someone slowing down the Bucks right now.
Could Pippen stop him?
Obviously, there is no Giannis stopper currently in the NBA, but maybe if you look into the past of the NBA, you could find a guy that could possibly contain the "Greek Freak"?
One of the best wing defenders ever, Scottie Pippen, seems like a guy for the job, but the Bulls legend himself admitted Giannis would be too big for him to guard.
"I think you have to try to force him out on the floor. When I mean out on the floor, you gotta take him out of the paint. That's your first job. Not an easy task by any means. He's definitely a dominant player. Reminds me a lot of Shaq. But I'm going to say that he has a bit more range than what Shaq had... I think physically, you have to try and push and push Giannis out... I don't think I'm the guy that could guard Giannis... he's too big for me. I'd be more of the help or the double... You would have to put a big body on him... Like Horace, Dennis Rodman. He's a tall order."
Scottie Pippen, TrashTalkProdcution
Kudos to Pippen for being honest and real with his take. Scottie might have been a menace on the defensive side of the floor, but he never faced someone athletically dominant like Giannis. Antetokunmpo has about 3 inches on Pippen and 30 pounds more to throw around.
That way, Giannis could just outmuscle Scottie in a one-on-one situation, despite Pippen's length and agility. That's why someone more rugged like Rodman or Grant that Scottie mentioned would be a better matchup, while Scottie roams and potentially helps on the drive. It would definitely be a fun battle to watch.