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Giannis MVP Watch: Bucks vs. Wizards II

Antetokounmpo does his best long snapper impression

Milwaukee Bucks “point forward” Giannis Antetokounmpo is the wild card among the four favorites to win the NBA’s MVP award (James Harden, LeBron James and Kevin Durant are the other favorites). Antetokounmpo, a native of Greece who turned 23 in December, is a mixture of the size, speed, lankiness, raw power and finesse that’s only seen in the so-called “unicorns” of the league (New York’s Kristaps Porziņgis and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons). But Antetokounmpo appears to have the most upside of any of those players, and he is slowly nipping at James’ heels for most dominant athlete in the league.

The Undefeated will track Antetokounmpo’s performances that add to his burgeoning MVP candidacy through our “Giannis MVP Watch.” You can catch up on previous entries here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII, Part IX, Part X.


What did he do?

27 points, 20 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks and thousands of Wizards fans’ souls on 39.1 percent shooting in a 104-95 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday afternoon.

Did he dunk on someone?

It’s been a rough couple of days for Antetokounmpo. On Jan. 12, the young Bucks had the reigning champion Golden State Warriors on the ropes for most of the game, but they fell apart in the fourth quarter on the way to a 108-94 home loss. Fellow MVP candidate Durant took Antetokounmpo to school on live television.

Two days later, the Bucks had a letdown game against the surging Miami Heat, getting blown out 97-79 on South Beach.

Which brings us to Monday, when, for the second time in eight days, Wizards guard Kelly Oubre Jr. tried to put Antetokounmpo on a milk cartoon as a missing person. Oubre missed the dunk, but it’s clear that he wants to be the Malcolm Brogdon to Antetokounmpo’s LeBron James.

Antetokounmpo wasn’t going out like a sucka, though, so he bided his time and waited for the perfect moment to show Oubre who the real mayor of Washington, D.C., is.

Muriel Bowser, who?

Did he make a crazy play?

Quick trivia: Who is the Green Bay Packers’ long snapper? It doesn’t matter, because a 6-foot-11 freak from Greece is taking over those duties from this moment forward. Midway through the fourth quarter, with the Bucks down by three, Wizards guard Bradley Beal missed a turnaround jumper and the ball squirted right to teammate Ian Mahinmi, who, at the very least, would have been fouled to put Washington up by four or five. Instead, the ball got kicked (a missed call by the referees, I’ll admit) in the direction of Antetokounmpo, who, as he bent over to pick it up, thrust the ball between his legs like a melanin Matt Birk to a sprinting Khris Middleton, who jammed it home to cut the lead to one.

By the way, the Packers’ long snapper is Brett Goode. Good to know.

What was his MVP moment?

The only thing Washington sports fans know better than heartbreak from their local teams is perhaps where to find the best Mumbo sauce.

Antetokounmpo thrust another dagger into the hearts of the Wizards on Monday. With just over a minute left in the fourth quarter and the Bucks holding a 100-93 lead, Antetokounmpo sized up Wizards forward Markieff Morris (or was it Marcus Morris? You can never be too sure), backed him down to Antetokounmpo’s favorite place on the court, the restricted area, and then hit a turnaround jumper to put the Bucks up by nine (2:29 mark below).

Those at Capital One Arena knew what was up, as fans directly in front of the press section got up and left for the door as the ball went through the net. Those who chose to stay until the final buzzer booed their own players for their effort, or lack thereof. “M-V-P” chants rang out 800 miles from the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

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