Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is well aware that the Phoenix Suns will prepare a wall for him in order to try to stop him in Game 4 and he is motivated by that. Antetokounmpo dominated the opening three games of the series but still the Bucks trail 2-1.
In Game 3, Antetokounmpo exploded for 41 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in a 120-100 win. "The first time I saw the wall was probably two years ago," Antetokounmpo said after Tuesday's practice, per ESPN.
"But I was always capable of passing before that. It's something that I always liked to do. I had coaches and people throughout my career that helped me with finding the right guy, finding the right pass, making the right play.
But once I started seeing the wall, two years ago, now it's almost, it's about trust. And it's kind of hard, because you want to be effective, you want to get downhill, you want to do everything. "And you take it personal, also.
There's a team that's building the wall of three people and two guys behind and trying to stop you. Now you have to not take it personal and make the right play, find the right guy. I feel like I did that better since two years ago.
... But I was always a capable passer before the wall was created. [It] is funny that there's a defense out there called the Giannis Wall. It's funny to me, you know?"
The Suns threw multiple defenders on Antetokounmpo
"They took it to us," Suns coach Monty Williams said Tuesday.
"No other way to look at it. They played with a great deal of force -- 50/50 balls, attacking the paint. We had spurts of playing the way that we play, but certainly not as consistent as we needed to. I think I said that the other day.
From the first possession of the game, we had a bad transition defensive lapse and they get a corner three in transition. "That was a credit to them. They played with a great deal of energy and they were physical. We were physical, but they were physical from the jump.
The more I looked at it, it was like I can sit here and make excuses about what we didn't do and all of that, but they played at a high, high level."