The 2 historic playoff runs of Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo have led sparked NBA followers to match these them to 2 of the best this recreation has ever seen – and now we get to see them go to conflict to the very best of seven video games!
Though the 2 could also be of various builds and personalities, Kawhi and Giannis are the modern-day reincarnations of Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal.
This post-season, Kawhi is dominating his opposition on each ends of the court docket in a Jordanesque vogue, at the moment averaging 31.eight points-per-game within the playoffs whereas being the second most effective participant behind huge man Nikola Jokic.
Showcasing his elite mid-range and difficult shot-making capacity within the moments the place it counts most – clutch time. In what has been a historic playoff run, The Klaw most lately created historical past when sending Joel Embiid and Philadelphia 76ers house with nothing however a swarm of tissues.
With 4 seconds left on the clock in recreation seven of the collection, Kawhi hit one of many hardest game-winning photographs in NBA historical past – it was the primary buzzer-beater in a recreation seven.
To not point out he acquired the shot off over 7’zero Defensive Participant of the 12 months candidate Joel Embiid to ice the sport and add his 41st level. The one different gamers in NBA historical past you possibly can think about making that calibre of a shot could be none aside from the likes of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.
Shaquille O’Neal himself handed the title of ‘Superman’ over to Giannis, and like Shaq, Giannis has been essentially the most dominating drive within the NBA. Main the Milwaukee Bucks to the Jap Convention Finals with just one post-season loss.
Averaging Shaq-like numbers of 27.four factors and 11.three rebounds whereas including 1.2 steals and 1.6 blocks per recreation – and what’s loopy is he has solely performed 38-plus minutes as soon as in his 9 playoff video games. Nevertheless, the one factor Shaq didn’t have was a three-point shot, with the Greek Freak hitting 32per cent of his photographs behind the arc within the playoffs.
Though Giannis hasn’t been displaying his abilities off within the clutch like Kawhi, he isn’t permitting for the group to be in that place, with the closest recreation being a win by seven factors in opposition to the Celtics. Other than that recreation and the one loss, the Bucks have gained by 12-points or extra every recreation – profitable by 20 or extra on 5 events, together with a 35-point blowout.
Who leads their group to the finals?
You can also make nice circumstances for each side to triumph to the finals, and clearly, a collection is determined by multiple lone participant – however that is extra about Giannis versus Kawhi fairly than the Raptors versus the Bucks.
However which of the 2 will exchange LeBron James because the consultant for the jap convention? It’s a tricky query and I’m guessing we might be gifted with one other lengthy collection – however MJ gained six and Shaq gained 4, and I’ve acquired Kawhi approaching prime right here.
There isn’t a one within the league who can guard Giannis, however I’m a agency believer The Klaw could make one other journey to the NBA finals and proceed to put in writing historical past.
Being an NBA Finals MVP, he already has the championship blood and he has simply been the higher participant throughout these playoffs.
I’m not knocking the expertise of Giannis and the Bucks, who’ve solely misplaced one recreation and placing up historic numbers as a group, however they performed a Pistons squad with out Blake Griffin for 2 video games then confronted a dysfunctional Celtics aspect who had extra issues than one might think about.
Then again, the trail handed to Kawhi and the Raptors wasn’t of the identical ease. He disposed of a hungry Magic group within the first spherical, a group which had a bunch of expertise. Then they have been stacked in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers who had an insane beginning 5 of 5 worthy all-stars. And sure, it took him seven video games to knock them off, however in the long run, The Klaw ended them in type.
This collection may have loads of shut video games and is the uncommon sort participant that you could give the ball to and take the group to the promised land.