Daily MVP Film Breakdown: The Giannis Dunk Show

Giannis Antetokounmpo is unlike any basketball player past or present, but he put himself in some elite company with a dominant 44-point performance on Friday night.

The Greek Freak tied his career high in points without attempting a three, and he added 14 boards and 8 assists. He is the first person in to do that in an NBA game since two guys named Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Who would you compare Giannis Antetokounmpo to? He’s a seven foot tall point guard, a 245-pound missile made of chiseled muscle soaring in from the rafters to annihilate the rim and anything in a 40 foot radius. He’s like if Kevin Durant was taller and more athletic, had no jump shot, and still dominated because he could get all the way to the cup and jam on anyone unfortunate enough to get in his way.

Antetokounmpo added eight dunks to his league-leading total of 118, and he’s only needed assists on 54 percent of them. The player with the next most jams and a higher unassisted rate is Jayson Tatum, who has 26 dunks this season.


He’s increased his shooting percentage every year and is hitting 58 percent this season, but that’s more about shot selection than an improvement on his jumper. 71 percent of his attempts and 89 percent of his makes are inside of eight feet, both career highs.

When you see his jump shot, it makes sense that he does most of his damage at or near the rim. The kid is only 24 and has time to develop his shot, but right now most defenses are totally fine with him settling for shots like these.

The Greek Freak is one of the rare players in the modern NBA who can thrive without any consistent jump shot to speak of. It’s because he can get to the rim in so many ways. He’s a versatile big man who can operate out of the post and as either half of a pick and roll.

He’s also one of the most dangerous cutters in the league. There is no reasonable expectation of stopping him in transition, and if a defender gets lulled to sleep by a ball-handler in the half court, it’s over.

Giannis isn’t a good shooter yet, but his interior dominance allows him to create plenty of outside looks for teammates. He created 15 points off of threes, and he did it out of the post, in transition, and playing as a point forward with the entire defense focused on him.

Antetokounmpo’s other assists were easy layups that resulted from the defense committing the two help defenders necessary to prevent him from attacking the basket.

Giannis passed like a point guard and rebounded like a center, snagging 14 boards and four on the offensive end. He has a habit of turning misses into very loud makes.

How does Giannis Antetokounmpo dominate in modern basketball without a jump shot? He just does everything else better than most could ever hope to.

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