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|The Three Kings: The Next 3 Global Sports Superstars Of Nigerian Descent by SirShymexx: 6:38pm On Apr 22, 2017|
1). Giannis Antetokounmpo (AdeTokunbo)...the new Hakeem Olajuwon
5 Notes On Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Playoff Performance So Far
Giannis Antetokounnpo has been carrying the Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs. These five notes help explain how he’s doing it, and how he could be even better.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been extra freakish in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. The Greek Freak has now led the Milwaukee Bucks to a 2-1 series lead over the favored Toronto Raptors, and that Game 2 loss was a close one.
The Bucks could take a 3-1 lead with another win in Milwaukee, where they last beat the Raps by a whopping 27 points. Although that blowout was a team effort by the Bucks, Giannis still put up an impressive 19 point, eight rebound, four assist, two steal and two block stat-line against Toronto on Thursday.
Giannis has been effective throughout the playoffs thus far. Antetokounmpo has 71 points through three games. Back when he and the Bucks made the postseason back in 2015, Giannis managed to score 69 points–in the entirety of the six-game series.
This is a new day in Milwaukee, one where the Greek Freak is capable of leading his team farther than a first-round exit, it appears. But just how is Giannis operating at such a high level with the stakes at their highest, considering Antetokounmpo averaged just 11 points per game in the playoffs last time he appeared in them?
The following five notes about his performances in the 2017 NBA Playoffs so far help to explain just why Giannis Antetokounmpo has been so effective thus far, although it’s hard to encapsulate Giannis’ game in any one article.
It’s not easy for a kid from Greece to come over to America, get drafted at 15th overall by some team from Milwaukee, and become a superstar. It takes time. In his rookie season, Giannis took just over five shots per game on a terrible Bucks team.
The next season Giannis became a full-time starter, but he still took less than 10 shots per game. That was the last season in which Milwaukee qualified for postseason play, and although his usage upticked without Brandon Knight around Giannis still took less than 12 shots a game in the postseason.
That number is actually boosted from one game the Bucks played in that series that went to overtime, in which Giannis made 10 of his 22 shots for 25 points. For the rest of that series, Giannis never took more than 13 shots or scored more than 12 points.
Couldn’t be this year’s Giannis. In the 2017 NBA Playoffs, Antetokounmpo is taking over 17 shots per game and scoring 23.7 points per game. Maybe the best sign that Giannis feels the game differently now was actually Game 2.
Giannis struggled with his shot in that game, especially early on, but he didn’t let that get him down. Antetokounmpo just kept on pushing, taking shots and attacking the rim, and ended the game with 24 points.
It took Giannis 24 shots to get there, but playoff basketball is just like that sometimes. The Bucks need Giannis to score, even if he’s not making every single shot. There’s a Russell Westbrook line that shouldn’t be crossed as far as being too aggressive, but so far Giannis has found a nice happy medium of getting a healthy amount of touches without monopolizing Milwaukee’s offense.
Making Some Triples
One of the things most often said about Giannis Antetokounmpo–besides something about how difficult it is to say/spell his name–is that he would be so damn good if he could only develop a jump shot.
Bucks fans often have to take the time to point out that, hey, Giannis is pretty damn good right now, as in starting the All-Star Game good, without having a knock-down jumper. Maybe they won’t even have to say that pretty soon.
Quietly, Giannis is shooting 43.3 percent from three-point territory in the playoffs thus far. The sample size here is obviously tiny–he’s taken seven shots from distance–but it’s noteworthy that the Greek Freak is even taking those threes.
Locking Down With Thon
Everybody on the Milwaukee Bucks’ starting lineup has really long arms. Each of the Bucks starters has a 6’10” or longer wingspan, which is pretty incredible. Giannis and Thon Maker have the longest arms of the group though, and they’ve used them to terrorize the Raptors.
Giannis and Thon have shared the floor for 52 minutes so far in the postseason. They’ve allowed the Raptors to score just 93 points per 100 possessions, while the Bucks have scored 112.8 points per 100 possessions in the same minutes.
Those two combining to play great defense makes a lot of sense. Even if they’re not blocking every shot themselves, having either Giannis, Thon, or both of them in or around the paint is a major deterrent to either Kyle Lowry or DeMar DeRozan driving to the basket.
Those players are good, but they’re not good enough to get through two athletic, long seven-footers. Both Giannis and Thon are laterally quick enough to get between a driving Raptor and the rim quickly.
There’s a reason the Bucks prevented DeMar DeRozan from making a single shot in Game 3–between Tony Snell‘s relentless one-on-one defense and having Thon and Giannis to help, it can be tough to score on this team.
Staying Out Of Foul Trouble
This might be the biggest note about Giannis Antetokounmpo’s playoff performances thus far. You can be the best player in the world, but it doesn’t matter if you aren’t actually playing. (See Joel Embiid‘s Rookie of the Year case for an example of the contrary.)
The only thing that could keep Giannis from playing is foul trouble, or actually being ejected from a game. He’s picked up just eight total fouls in three playoff games thus far, which is a very manageable total.
Four of those came in Game 1, where Giannis did flirt with foul trouble slightly. He still managed to play over 38 minutes though, and four fouls for an entire game isn’t entirely crippling. Since then Bucks fans have seen a lot of control from the Greek Freak, who’s picked up just four fouls over the last two games.
One moment especially sticks out from Game 3, when Serge Ibaka was clearly jostling and pushing Giannis and looking interested in starting something. In a beautiful display of maturity, Giannis looked disappointed in Ibaka and just walked away.
Antetokounmpo now realizes the Bucks need him on the floor far more than they need him to make a statement by decking somebody on the other team, as much fun as it was to watch him take down Mike Dunleavy.
|Re: The Three Kings: The Next 3 Global Sports Superstars Of Nigerian Descent by SirShymexx: 6:42pm On Apr 22, 2017|
2). Dele Alli
Premier League Playback: Dele Alli the next great star
Dele Alli‘s doesn’t do Sophomore slumps. His form this season destroys their notion entirely.
Alli, who turns 21 on Tuesday, scored a stunner in Tottenham’s 4-0 demolition of Watford at White Hart Lane on Saturday as Spurs continue to pile the pressure on Chelsea.
Tottenham remain seven points behind Chelsea with seven games to go but with Alli in this kind of form you can’t blame Spurs for believing they still have a chance of winning the title. He has now scored 19 goals in all competitions this season, adding five assists for Spurs. Last season, his first in the Premier League after moving up from League One MK Dons, Alli scored 10 goals and added 11 assists.
Alli has it all and his stunning curling goal to set Spurs up for their latest win showed his class.
His only weakness remains his penchant for wanting to get involved in spats with opposition players who target him, which happened again at the weekend. He may always have that streak but he must curb it.
Still, focusing on the positives, of which there are many when it comes to Alli, the stat below reinforces what a special talent he is.
Asked about Alli’s impressive numbers following the win against Watford, Mauricio Pochettino couldn’t hide his surprise and believes he is working with one of the best young players in Europe.
“Wow. That’s unbelievable. He’s green but he’s great. First of all, he’s a great kid, a lovely, lovely person. And then he is a great player,” Pochettino said. “I think today, his age and with his stats, I think so. If not he’s the best, he’s one of the best for sure. He is so young, he can improve a lot, learn a lot, his potential is massive. Every day he’s improving, and getting more mature. He’s improving in his skills but in his character as well. He’s special. He’s different from all the players who play now at his age. He’s so experienced. His energy, his character, his quality. He is a unique player.”
With Harry Kane returning from injury earlier than expected to lead the line for the run-in (Heung-Min Son has scored seven goals in his last five games, doing a fine job in Kane’s absence) Spurs aren’t giving up hope of catching Chelsea for the title.
Even if they don’t catch Chelsea this season, the strength in depth of their young squad suggests Pochettino’s boys will be in many a title race for the next decade to come.
Alli will be the man leading those challenges if the likes of Real Madrid don’t pry him away form White Hart Lane just like they did with Gareth Bale once his star power became apparent.
Among all of the Europe’s brightest young talents — the likes of Paulo Dybala at Juventus, Leroy Sane at Manchester City, Marcus Rashford at Manchester United, Christian Pulisic at Borrusia Dortmund and spring to the mind — Alli is light years ahead of the rest.
A new superstar has been born and is now established in the Premier League.
Diego Costa is an angry man at the best of times.
Right now he looks exasperated and as if he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.
During Chelsea’s 3-1 win at Bournemouth, a result which saw them regain their seven-point lead atop the Premier League following Spurs’ win earlier on Saturday, Costa toiled to no avail.
Chelsea’s first goal was initially credited to him (he did superbly to turn and bring the ball under control) but replays showed he clearly shanked his effort off target as the ball deflected off Adam Smith and in. The goal was later credited to Smith as an own goal which just about sums up Costa’s recent form in front of goal.
You can never accuse Costa of a lack of effort but at times his focus appeared to be off with a bad miss at the near post from Marcos Alonso‘s pinpoint cross at the start of the second half, plus his manager Antonio Conte looked to the heavens in disbelief on each of the occasions Costa surrendered possession easily or crashed to the ground without drawing a foul.
Pro Soccer Talk, on location at the Vitality Stadium, asked Conte after the victory if he was happy with Costa’s display.
“I’m happy for his performance. Yes, at this moment Diego is not scoring but he is totally involved in the team and our idea of football,” Conte said. “The first goal, he provided the first goal. He must continue to work in this way, with a great commitment and desire and great work rate. I’m sure he can score in every game.”
Costa’s record suggests he can indeed score in every game. He has 49 goals in 83 appearances in the Premier League but has just four goals in his last 14 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions. For a side on the cusp of clinching the title and in an FA Cup semifinal, their star striker is hardly spearheading their final push.
In the early months of the campaign Costa was a beast as Conte looked to have shackled his mean streak and channeled it perfectly. However, since reports of the back injury, a potential training ground bust up and links to a big move to the Chinese Super League in late January, Costa looks like he did for most of last season.
The Spanish international is laboring through games, grumbling away at officials and snatching at chances whenever they come his way. With Eden Hazard and others stepping up in recent games to soften the blow of Costa’s cold spell in front of goal, the former Atletico Madrid forward will likely win his second PL title in three seasons at Chelsea and he’ll be top scorers in each of those campaigns.
Yet, ask Chelsea’s fans if they want Costa to stick around next season and you’ll likely get a lukewarm response.
Costa’s cold streak continues and despite Conte’s comments you get the sense that if he can bring in Alvaro Morata, Antoine Griezmann or Alexis Sanchez this summer, Chelsea will jump at the chance to ship out Costa and move on. He’d probably do the same.
|Re: The Three Kings: The Next 3 Global Sports Superstars Of Nigerian Descent by hammerF: 6:44pm On Apr 22, 2017|
Who release u? Oooo! We were enjoying peace here.
mynd44 do the needful. cheers!
|Re: The Three Kings: The Next 3 Global Sports Superstars Of Nigerian Descent by SirShymexx: 6:47pm On Apr 22, 2017|
3). Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua
George Foreman: "Anthony Joshua can be one of the best boxers ever’: George Foreman talks up IBF heavyweight champion but warns him against ‘complacency and over-confidence"
ANTHONY JOSHUA can go on to become one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. That’s according to boxing Hall of Famer and two-time former champion of the world George Foreman.
Joshua is in training ahead of a prospective IBF world title defence on December 10. An opponent has yet to be named.
People were desperate for the Watford fighter to be pitched in with dethroned champ Wladimir Klitschko. But the Ukrainian has picked up an injury in training and won’t fight again until next year.
It is expected, however, that the two will eventually have their dust up, with February the month being talked about.But Foreman believes Joshua is well on the way to shaking up boxing for the better, and becoming the next big thing.
In an exclusive interview with SunSport, the 67-year-old said: "Anthony Joshua has all the tools to become one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, but complacency and over-confidence could make Klitschko easily win.
"Joshua has got the right jab, the right combination and he’s an athlete. I like that look."
Foreman went on to describe how Joshua is without doubt the "best British heavyweight" at the moment.
A prospective fight between Joshua and Klitschko was being discussed, albeit at length, for December 10, but the Ukrainian has picked up an injury in training.
The IBF world heavyweight champion WILL still defend his title in Manchester on December 10 and the new opponent is expected to be confirmed by the end of this week.
Both fighters remain desperate to face each other despite Klitschko’s injury – with specialists waiting to confirm the nature of the former world champion’s setback.
Spring of next year has been pencilled in for the bout as long as AJ retains his title at the Manchester Arena.
|Re: The Three Kings: The Next 3 Global Sports Superstars Of Nigerian Descent by SirShymexx: 6:50pm On Apr 22, 2017|
Kareem Abdul Jabeer said Hakeem Olajuwon told him that Giannis is Nigerian his ethnic group with smiles all over his face when they both talked about him a few months ago. As for the other two - they're both on top of the world right now.
I'mma leave you lot to debate the three amigos.
|Re: The Three Kings: The Next 3 Global Sports Superstars Of Nigerian Descent by hammerF: 6:51pm On Apr 22, 2017|
Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua
This guy yes, the other two, i take it it is becos they are yoruba.
This guy is more of a global superstar than the other two.
|Re: The Three Kings: The Next 3 Global Sports Superstars Of Nigerian Descent by SirShymexx: 6:53pm On Apr 22, 2017|
Release? Nothing happened to my handles - I just stopped posting.
I've got a life and I'm doing other things...can't be arsed with internet discussions right now.
There's money out there to be made. I was just checking sports highlights, while watching the FA cup hence I decided to post.
I'm off again. You lot can keep arguing - all I'm doing is give you food.
It's summer...off to the gym >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: The Three Kings: The Next 3 Global Sports Superstars Of Nigerian Descent by hammerF: 6:56pm On Apr 22, 2017|
Just got in from the gym myself, dont worry, mynd44 will be kind dis time, dont run.
|Re: The Three Kings: The Next 3 Global Sports Superstars Of Nigerian Descent by SirShymexx: 8:14pm On Apr 22, 2017|
Huh? Did mynd take credit for the fact that I stopped posting? I doubt the lil man would say that...that's my son from Ekiti, regardless of our on/off tiffs.
There's no nyggah dead or alive that can stop me from posting on this forum if I wanted to. The forum's security is doo doo shit and c'mon, I always post even when this handle is serving a ban under the other variant of my unique name. Ain't no nyggah that can stop the god.
I was just doing more important things and I believe I posted in February and two days ago. And topics about naij is boring to me right now.
Lmao @ the video of yungen. Youngers like yungen talk grease on tracks but they aren't about the life. That nyggah that got him shook ain't even that big - he'll get his jaw broken trying to violate me like that. Yungen is a pu.ssy who couldn't talk back to 67. I'll let my young Yoruba dons in Zone 2 and Harlem Spartans slap the shyt out of Yungen and the fake big black guy lool.
Put some respekt on my name, fam. I'm an original...the real OPB. I'm out.
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