Giannis: “We have to play better. And without pressure, but it’s not easy …”

Giannis: “We have to play better. And without pressure, but it’s not easy …”

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Giannis: “We have to play better. And without pressure, but it’s not easy …”

The Milwaukee Bucks star, down 2-0 in the Finals against Phoenix: “We have already been down two games in the playoffs and we have been able to recover …”

Antetokounmpo tries to play down, to be witty, casual. To think only of Game 3, as if the first two games of the NBA Finals, two defeats for his Bucks, had never been played. It is his way of not putting pressure on him, his recipe for curing the ills of Milwaukee which at home, from 2 am on the Italian night between Sunday and Monday, will try to reverse the course and the outcome of the series. The Greek therefore begins like this, leaving everyone stunned: “I’m here talking to journalists only because I don’t want to be fined”. But the mystery does not last long: “I’m joking – he chuckles -. I took up the phrase that NFL football player used, was it (Marshawn) Lynch?”. He was Giannis. Better to avoid that comparison, however, that you fly much higher than the former Seattle running back, off the pitch.


The game at least serves to explain in a comprehensive way the mental approach of the Greek: “We may not say it, but we all know how much game 3 counts. Let’s try not to put pressure on us. It’s just basketball. Easier said than done, but let’s try to do it. Don’t burden the atmosphere. But we know we have to win. When I put my heart into things I know I can do well. I will try to enjoy the opportunity that presents itself to me. It will be exciting to play in front of your fans. I think about competing and enjoying the game. game: these are always my priorities. If I manage to do these two things I will be successful and I will put the team in a position to be successful. ” To do this, the Bucks must also limit Paul and relaunch Middleton, who was disappointing in Game 2. Giannis is confident: “Khris has been showing me for 8 years that he will do whatever it takes to win. Paul? 16 seasons in the NBA and he can still play at this level… But to win the title you have to compete with these types of players. And so we have to play better ”.


Going from Giannis to MIddleton and Coach Bud is like going from having dinner in a beer house with friends to swallowing soup in the hospital, as a change of atmosphere. As much the Greek is warm, empathetic, perhaps messy with the English language, but always authentic and able to come up with his own concept, as the others seem followers of Hermeticism as a philosophy of life, in front of the media. Middleton comments: “We have already been down two games in the playoffs, and we have been able to recover, we must not get depressed. So, against the Nets, we believed in the comeback. We simply have to find a way to win, whatever it is, even unspectacular. As long as it works “. Then: “I’ve waited all my life to play a Finals match at home. I have to lose my memory of what happened in Game 2, when the shots didn’t fit me, and continue to be aggressive. 7-1 home record in the playoffs? The audience helps. It gives you that extra energy… We haven’t played Milwaukee in a long time, we can’t wait. Bridges? Great defender. But I don’t think much about who defends me, it’s up to me to play well. I have to find the rhythm: sometimes it seems that you just can’t go wrong, other times you need patience… “.


“The comebacks of the past mean nothing, but we are human and serve as a reference. We can improve in ball movement, play better on both sides of the pitch. Holiday in defense is unique in how he knows how to defend by “changing” on many different attackers. We need him against Paul and Booker. But we think that at the same time in attack he can do more than what has been shown so far ”. Much more will be needed to prevent him from becoming “Giannis against everyone” because the feats of the big boy from Athens in race 2 were not enough anyway.

10 July – 21:10