Sports Take: Antetokounmpo has perfect opportunity to take NBA crown

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) drives to the basket against Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, left, in the first half of Game 2 of an Eastern Conference semifinal in the NBA basketball playoffs Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

This year’s playoff is the perfect opportunity for Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo to grab the crown of best player in the world. With Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James missing the playoffs, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant struggling and getting swept and other great players out, this is Antetokounmpo’s chance to cement himself atop the basketball world.

Antetokounmpo is coming off of an unprecedented three-season run. With two MVP’s, a Defensive Player of the Year award, a championship and a Finals MVP, no one in the league was as successful as him during that span. Many have already said that Antetokounmpo has become the best player in basketball, but this can be pushed even further by a few things.

Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are currently 1-1 with the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs despite missing co-star guard Khris Middleton — the same Celtics team that completely shut down offensive juggernauts Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. With no Robin to his Batman, if Antetokounmpo can win this series it will leave no questions on who is sitting on the throne. Not to mention the possibility of Antetokounmpo making another title run, then there would be absolutely no debate.

Some say Durant is a better shooter, James is a better passer and Antetokounmpo has no offensive bag. But none of that matters in this discussion. Antetokounmpo’s dominant offense and imposing defense completely controls the game on both ends of the floor. For example, in the first game against the Celtics, he shot a poor 9-of-25 from the floor, yet was still the best player on the floor and not a single person thought he had a bad game. He had his fingerprints all over the game and asserted his dominance in every area of the contest. He also finished with a triple-double, 24 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.

If Antetokounmpo has a Greek Freak-level series, I believe he will be officially the best in the world. If he wins the series, or even makes another finals appearance, there will be no argument you can make for anyone being better than he is at this point in time. Don’t forget he is only 27 years old; this will be Antetokounmpo’s league for the next couple of years to come.