Giannis Antetokounmpo acknowledges Charles Barkley for tipping his Bucks team as NBA Finalists this year, over Kevin Durant’s Nets.
It’s been a long time since Milwaukee last made it to an NBA Finals. They were last at that stage back in the 70s with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. They fizzled out into medicority during the 90s and 00s.
The rise of Giannis powered them to their first Conference Finals since 2001 with Ray Allen. They were eventually beaten by Kawhi Leonard and his Raptors that year.
Giannis powered them to yet another dominant regular season run in 2019-20, but postseason success was even further away for them this time. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat dismantled his Bucks in 5 games last year.
But they re-signed Giannis to a supermax last December. They also acquired Jrue Holiday in a trade with the Pelicans. It’s clear that they now have a much more dyanamic and adaptable offensive scheme this year. Their record may not be as impressive as before, but they’re still contenders.
Charles Barkley says the Bucks will make the Finals; Giannnis Antetokounmpo thanks him
Charles Barkley had tipped the Bucks to win the East ahead of their game with Philly:
“I think they’re going to finish with the No. 1 record in the East, I truly believe that. I think the addition of Jrue Holiday, (PJ) Tucker … I think Milwaukee’s going to win the East.”
Charles Barkley: “I think Milwaukee will win the East.”
— 👑 Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson 📍 (@ScoopB) April 23, 2021
Giannis thanked Chuck for his take and expressed his confidence that they’d be able to make it this time: “It’s a great compliment coming from Charles Barkley.”
The Greek Freak compiled yet another monster triple-double as the Bucks have drawn within 2 losses of their top-seeded opponents. It remains to be seen how they fare in the playoffs. But they do have a decent chance of snagging the top seed with 12-14 games remaining.