Oscar Robertson claims only one person can stop Giannis right now
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Oscar Robertson claims only one person can stop Giannis right now

You’ve heard it many times – Giannis led the Bucks to their second title, exactly 50 years after their first one. Back in 1971, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson led Milwaukee to the top. The Bucks charged to a league-best 66–16 record, a dominating 12–2 record in the playoffs, and crowned their season with the NBA title by sweeping the Baltimore Bullets 4–0. The Big O is a legend, and according to him, only one man can stop Giannis from taking over the NBA.

Anthony Davis is 6’10” and has 7’6” wingspan. Physically, he may be the only player in the league who is quick enough and can jump high enough to give Antetokounmpo problems. AD can also match up with Giannis on the offensive end: shoot 3s, perimeter jumpers, back-to-the-basket, free throws, and transition dunks. The only edge he has over The Greek Freak at the moment could be his more accurate shooting beyond the arc and on the charity stripe.

According to Robertson, once the recently crowned finals MVP learns how to shoot, it’s almost game over for other teams. However, he named AD as possibly the only one who can stop Giannis from dominating the league.

“The only person, I think has the size to give him a decent chance at guarding Giannis, is A.D. from the Lakers. No one else. I don’t see any other player on defense that’s gonna be able to handle Giannis.”

Oscar Robertson, Lakers Daily

Giannis is a nightmare to defend. When he gets to the paint, it’s almost automatic points for him. He has the agility, speed, and strength to absorb contact and still make the play. His wingspan is out of this world at 7’3”. In terms of height, wingspan, quickness, and verticality, AD and Giannis are virtually identical. The Milwaukee Bucks star, however, might be ahead slightly in terms of athleticism. When it comes to strength, it’s not a contest. That leads to possibly the most important difference between the two – availability. Giannis has had fewer injuries in his career compared to the L.A. Lakers star. 

Head-to-head stats

In career head-to-head games, the two All-Stars faced 15 times in the regular season. Davis enjoys a 10-5 career games record over the reigning NBA champ. When it comes to the numbers, AD averaged 27 points and ten rebounds, while Giannis averaged 21 points and eight rebounds. It seems like Robertson may be correct in his assumption that only AD can stop Antetokounmpo right now. However, the Playoffs are a different beast, and as Giannis has shown in the Finals against the Phoenix Suns, he can perform better and shoot better when it matters most. 

The only thing we can hope is that Oscar’s theory will be put on the test in the future. AD vs. Giannis in the Finals would surely be amazing basketball to watch.