Bucks won’t die — Giannis! — Kawhi update

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

  The Opening Tip

  • No team takes the identity of its best player as well as the Bucks.
  • An ode to Giannis’ virtuoso block last night. 
  • More details have emerged on Kawhi’s season-ending injury.

This weekend's Finals game

1. They don’t stop, these guys

@Bucks

If you want to better understand Giannis, you just have to watch this clip from the Bucks’ YouTube account in June.

During a free-throw shooting contest against reserve Mamadi Diakite, which he is evidently losing, Giannis goes on a long monologue about how little he cares about being embarrassed:
 

“I’ve seen it all,” he says to PJ Tucker. “I’ve airballed shots, Game 7. I’ve airballed back-to-back free-throws in Oklahoma. I’ve been down here. Only way is up now. I’ve missed eight in a row. I’ve done it all man. I’ve been dunked on. I’ve been crossed over. I’ve been all over.” 

That is a level of dogged shamelessness no current NBA star comes near.

(Imagine Ben Simmons saying that?)

And that attitude, more than any other team’s identity as a resemblance of its best player, is the Bucks.

  • Their two stars are a former D-Leaguer traded for Brandon Jennings and a street merchant from Greece.
  • The third best player has no problem shooting 4-of-20 if he annoyed the other team on defense. (Look at this stat on Jrue Holiday’s defense on Chris Paul.)

They are undisturbed by away crowds counting down free-throws, by airballing shots, by eight missed layups in one game, by getting viciously dunked on, by zero-point stat lines, and by being down nine points last night in the fourth quarter of a must-win game.

There must be something uniquely attriting about facing a team that is completely down to get posterized, mocked or sarcastically cheered.

It’s like the Homer Simpson boxing method -- there is no knockout blow that can kill the Milwaukee Bucks.

[READ: Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t scared of missing shots. It’s part of what makes him great.]

2. Daily GIFGiannis guarded the alley, then the oop

Defense doesn’t get more intense than Giannis’ block on DeAndre Ayton last night up two points with a minute left. (“I thought I would get dunked on,” he said.)

Instead, he got ready to defend Devin Booker, saw him throwing an alley-oop, changed his course, recovered, and rejected Ayton’s game-tying basket attempt.

Given the moment, it drew comparisons to LeBron’s block of Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals. (Even Iguodala thought so.) But it was maybe not even Giannis’ best block of the series.

[READ: Did Giannis Antetokounmpo just make the greatest block in NBA Finals history?]

 

3. Trivia time

Since 2000, only one Defensive Player of the Year has also won the Finals MVP at any point in his career. 

Who is it?

Answer at the bottom.

4. Daily GIF, pt. 2: With all due respect … 

Devin Booker had 42 points in 38 minutes and an NBA-first eight fouls last night, but his third quarter was what we’ll remember. He finished the period 7-for-7 with 18 points on some truly outrageous contested shots.

The only thing stopping him from getting 50 was foul trouble; he had five for most of the fourth quarter, and picked up his sixth, seventh and eighth fouls late in the game, all of which technically went uncalled. 

(ICYMI, watch this and you’ll know what we’re getting at.)

5. Welcome to the newest installation of weird Kawhi Leonard injury drama

We finally have a diagnosis on *Mark Jackson voice* Kawhi Lennit’s injury, which wound up ending his season: It was a “partially torn right ACL,” according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. He had surgery on it on July 13, a full month after his last game.

According to our very scientific research amassed over the course of a two-minute Google, a partial tear of the ACL is treated, recovery wise, like a full tear; it’s the same injury Spencer Dinwiddie -- who was floating out the possibility of an NBA Finals return before the Nets failed to unite the whole world -- had in December.

Kawhi should be out a minimum of six months and, knowing him, a maximum of three years. 

This presents two existential questions for the Clippers:

  1. They were clearly left in the dark on what, and how severe, Kawhi’s injury was. Wait, that’s not a question. 
  2. If and when Kawhi does opt out of his deal this summer (the deadline is in early August), should the Clippers give him a $240 million max contract, despite the fact that he might miss all of next season, and feels zero desire to communicate with the front office about anything? 

The short answer: L.A. probably doesn’t have much of an option. They traded seven picks and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for him and Paul George. Either pay him and hope he comes back healthy, or let the ultimate all-in move walk after two seasons.

6.  Quick hits

  • Chris Paul’s Game 4 line: 5-of-13 shooting, 10 points, 7 assists, 5 turnovers. 
  • The emotional spectrum Dario Saric went through during this Monty Williams speech is worth watching. 
  • You can see Marques Johnson, Kareem, Oscar Robertson, Kendrick Perkins and Dave Chappelle in one picture. And all you have to do is click here.
  • We don’t think Maria Taylor meant to say the word she ended up saying here.
  • Rui Hachimura has a new cup noodle commercial that is very Japanese. 
  • FYI: Team Nigeria is a must-follow on Twitter. We’ll have more on the upcoming Olympics in our next newsletter.

7.  Reads

  • How Deandre Ayton's incredible evolution transformed the Suns [ESPN]
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy Is a huge airball [Gizmodo]
  • Here’s what happened when Jane Doe sued Chauncey Billups for sexual assault [Defector]
  • NBA Finals Game 4 reaction [The Lowe Post]

Trivia answer: Kawhi Leonard


That's the buzzer.
Thanks for reading the 291st edition of The Grip.

Copyright © 2021 The Grip, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
The Grip
630 Ninth Ave
Suite 1411
The Mecca, NY 10036

Add us to your address book


update your preferences | unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp

Older messages

Bucks hope(?) — International Harden — Rachel Nichols situation

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Friday, July 9th, 2021 The Opening Tip A few reasons why the Bucks might still be able to make the Finals competitive. A Suns play from last night was reminiscent of how the 2014 Spurs played. A quick

Bucks-Suns coin flip — Alcindor in MIL — Finals notes

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021 The Opening Tip The Suns and Bucks share one of the better footnotes in NBA history Notes and news ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals We got retro with our GIFs Tonight's

Favored Suns — Brook Lopez! — Shaq’s streak ends

Friday, July 2, 2021

Friday, July 2nd, 2021 The Opening Tip Brook Lopez turned into Shawn Kemp last night. The greatest streak in playoff basketball is over. The people have spoken on the smug deer vs. knee-padded hawk

Battle of curses — Reggie Jackson! — Buck vs. Hawk

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 The Opening Tip Reggie Jackson is playing like he's never played before. Some good old Bucks and Hawks nostalgia. What's up with Damian Lillard? Tonight's playoff

Destiny Clips — Trae Young! — Playoff’s high scorers

Friday, June 25, 2021

Friday, June 25th, 2021 The Opening Tip You can't kill the Clippers. Individual playoff scoring is way up from a decade ago. The slippery slope of a call from Clips-Suns Game 2. Tonight's

🔴🔴 Jurgen Klopp issues fitness update on six players ahead of Brentford

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Liverpool Echo Latest LFC stories from the Liverpool Echo Read in browser News In Your Area Liverpool FC What's On | Sign In Today's Highlights See more highlights... Trent and Latest LFC

🔴🔴 Exclusive: Inside record-breaking Liverpool and Nike decision as FSG benefit from deal

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Liverpool Echo Latest LFC stories from the Liverpool Echo Read in browser News In Your Area Liverpool FC What's On | Sign In Today's Highlights See more highlights... Inside rec Latest LFC

🔴🔴 what DAZN TV move could mean for £4.5bn Liverpool deal

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Liverpool Echo Latest LFC stories from the Liverpool Echo Read in browser News In Your Area Liverpool FC What's On | Sign In Today's Highlights See more highlights... Liverpool Latest LFC

🔴🔴 FSG make £220m statement as long-term vision hits new phase

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Liverpool Echo Latest LFC stories from the Liverpool Echo Read in browser News In Your Area Liverpool FC What's On | Sign In Today's Highlights See more highlights... FSG make £ Latest LFC

🔴🔴 Tsimikas blasts Jones and other moments missed during Liverpool win

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Liverpool Echo Latest LFC stories from the Liverpool Echo Read in browser News In Your Area Liverpool FC What's On | Sign In Today's Highlights See more highlights... Kostas Tsi Latest LFC

🔴🔴BREAKING: Liverpool confirm new £60m Anfield redevelopment will begin this month

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Liverpool Echo Latest LFC stories from the Liverpool Echo Read in browser News In Your Area Liverpool FC What's On | Sign In Today's Highlights See more highlights... Liverpool Latest LFC

🔴🔴 Ibrahima Konate strange truth emerges as Daniel Farke reveals dressing room altercation

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Liverpool Echo Latest LFC stories from the Liverpool Echo Read in browser News In Your Area Liverpool FC What's On | Sign In Today's Highlights See more highlights... Kaide Gord Latest LFC

🔴🔴 Liverpool's 19 changes have proved Klopp point over summer transfers

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Liverpool Echo Latest LFC stories from the Liverpool Echo Read in browser News In Your Area Liverpool FC What's On | Sign In Today's Highlights See more highlights... Liverpool Latest LFC

🔴🔴 Liverpool line ups and updates from Carabao Cup match against Norwich City

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Liverpool Echo Latest LFC stories from the Liverpool Echo Read in browser News In Your Area Liverpool FC What's On | Sign In Today's Highlights See more highlights... Norwich vs Latest LFC

🔵🔵 Everton line ups and updates from QPR Carabao Cup match

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Liverpool Echo Latest EFC stories from the Liverpool Echo Read in browser News In Your Area Everton FC What's On | Sign In Today's Highlights See more highlights... QPR vs Evert Latest EFC