Playoff Giannis Looks Just As Unstoppable
The narrative was always “If Giannis develops a jumpshot, think how good he could be” but here we are and here he is, going to the rim for another bucket, up by 30-some points in the playoffs, with an MVP award and maybe bigger things on the way.
After a regular season in which he shattered the all-time record for dunks with 279 (that works out to almost four per game), the Pistons made a point of trying to foul him on the way to the rim during the opening minutes of the game. It worked out poorly for them, as Giannis immediately flexed to the basket for an and-one.
By the time he split the lane and the hearts of Detroit men for his first dunk of the game and of this postseason, the game was very well over.
And by the time old pal Thon Maker gave him a hard foul (common, it turned out), the game was, well, still over.
When Andre Drummond gave up and just pushed Giannis over after Giannis ripped an offensive rebound, it was plain to see that Drummond could see that… the game was very much over.
Last year in the first round, Giannis played 40+ minutes in each game (except the one he fouled out of). He played just 24 minutes in Game 1, as the Bucks carried from the regular season striking the rare balance of going all out (resulting in blowout wins) while preserving their energy (being so far ahead that the starters need not log heavy minutes).
Every time Giannis checked out of Game 1, it was already over:
- Bucks 25 Pistons 10 (Giannis checks out)
- Bucks 48 Pistons 30 (Giannis checks out)
- Bucks 97 Pistons 58 (Giannis checks out)
The toughest reality to confront for the Pistons and for who knows who else is that the first time Giannis checked into the game, it looked about over:
- Bucks 0 Pistons 0 (Giannis checks in)