The Greek Freak Dominating The 2nd Half
It was a bad sign for the Thunder that it was a bad day for a Thunder sign. Yes. But more simply it was a bad sign for the Thunder that there was a second half.
Down by six at the half, Giannis made it pretty clear how the second half was going to go.
He ended up hitting 9–11 shots from the field in a 24-point second half, and eight out of those nine shots were dunks or layups.
The only other one was a shooter’s touch three, and if Giannis is getting shooter’s touch threes…
A couple nights earlier (after oddly not getting a basket in the first half), Giannis came out and put up 21 points in the third quarter in Utah, and apparently short-circuited the NBA.com box score, which credited him with playing 12:03 in the quarter (?). Two years on, Giannis is still diving, carrying, caring in Utah, for his first win in Utah. He brought them close as can be in an incandescent second half.
A few nights before Utah, Giannis dropped 25 points in Staples in the second half of a win over the Clippers. His second half line of 25/9/7 has only been matched by seven others in a full game this season.
Which, instead of continuing to go back through all of his second halves because you can trust me at this point, leads to the idea that Giannis might still be a deserving All-Star if he only played in the second half of games. To be clear, this is not a recommendation. It is just a bit ridiculous is all.
Giannis is averaging 18.8 points (and 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks on 67.6% shooting from the field) in the second half through 10 games this season, and if he keeps that up, it will be the most points any player has averaged in the 24-year database on NBA.com. In the East, you might only have six or seven non-guards (Siakam, Embiid, Sabonis, Drummond, Hayward, Love, Middleton…) over Second Half Only Giannis. And that is with Giannis actually only averaging 17.4 minutes in second halves. If you could have Giannis for the full 24 minutes in this hypothetical, that changes things.
The point of this story is not to make a case for Second Half Only Giannis for the All-Star Game. The point is that Giannis is so far beyond individual achievements.
Compared to his MVP season last year, Giannis is scoring more, rebounding more, assisting more, and blocking more shots, all in fewer minutes.— Alex Boeder (@alexboeder) November 7, 2019
He also leads the NBA in tons of advanced stats, including PER, Win Shares and Win Shares Per Minute, Box Plus/Minus, and VORP.