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Giannis MVP Watch: Bucks vs. Jazz

Antetokounmpo still had some dunks to give

If you’re new to this series, read our previous entries about Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP candidacy (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V).

What did he do?

37 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and two steals on 63.6 percent shooting in a 117-100 win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

Did he dunk on someone?

A night after embarrassing the German duo of Dirk Nowitzki and Maximilian Kleber for the entire game, Antetokounmpo still had some dunks to give against the Jazz.

Utah big man Rudy Gobert (yet another center the Greek Freak has put on the Summer Jam screen this year) made the mistake of leaving Antetokounmpo alone on the baseline. He immediately regretted that decision. Bucks guard Gary Payton II found Antetokounmpo sprinting toward the paint, and Antetokounmpo made Gobert make the first of many “business decisions” on the night:

Later, with 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the game already over, Thabo Sefolosha, a good defender, played Antetokounmpo too close, so Antetokounmpo went right around him, leaving Gobert with a decision to make with the Bucks forward barreling toward him. Gobert made the wrong choice … at first, at least:

Gobert made the rare midair business decision, technically being dunked on but not completely getting clowned on Twitter for being posterized. The “Stifle Tower,” as he’s known, got big mad for Antetokounmpo sacre bleu-ing him on live television, so he hit him with the passive-aggressive shoulder bump.

Did he make a crazy play?

Antetokounmpo must’ve just signed an endorsement deal with Maytag before the game, because he was putting everyone through the spin cycle. He caught a pass near the free-throw line, immediately spun left on Sefolosha, who is, again, a really good defender, and then spun back right, leaving the Jazz forward standing still in the process. Gobert, another good defender, got out of the way, knowing how this story plays out.

Midway through the third quarter, Jazz forward Jonas Jerebko drew Antetokounmpo behind the 3-point line, telekinetically yelled “help,” but was already getting washed as Antetokounmpo pirouetted like an Olympic figure skater to the left, spun back right and drew the And-1 call as he easily laid the ball in:

What was his MVP moment?

With turnovers and bad shots at the beginning of the third quarter, the Bucks held a nine-point lead, but the Jazz looked like they were mounting a comeback. So for two minutes, Antetokounmpo put the team on his back, scoring all 10 of the Bucks’ points to put the lead back to 15.

Later in the fourth quarter, with the Jazz again chipping away at a double-digit deficit, this time a 21-point lead down to 10, Bucks center John Henson threw an alley-oop to an unsuspecting Antetokounmpo with four seconds left on the shot clock. The ball hit off the side of the backboard and squirted back out to the 3-point line, so Antetokounmpo sprinted back to scoop it up, and by the time he got his bearings, there were less than two seconds to shoot. Nothing but net. That would be the final dagger to the Jazz, with 4 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

Martenzie is a senior researcher for The Undefeated. His favorite cinematic moment is when Django said "Y'all want to see somethin?"