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VIDEO | Giannis Antetokounmpo slams vs. Thunder

An energetic first half saw Giannis mixing both the good and bad, sometimes in the same sequence.

The Bucks are battered, bruised and of late barely able to field a full rotation.

But let's be honest: while we would never wish harm to Caron Butler, Carlos Delfino or others, their absences also have most of us excited about seeing Giannis Antetokounmpo every night. Only a handful of guys have a chance to be relevant to the Bucks' long-term future, and at this point Giannis is the only one who isn't likely to play consistently when the Bucks are at 100%.

So this week has been exciting for many of us if only because Butler's absence has meant regularly glimpses of Giannis in each of the past four games. He's still not seeing big minutes (between 12 and 21 over the last four) and seems to spend more time than you'd like defending quicker guards, but he's playing and showing the sort of flashes that we were hoping to see. What did we see on Saturday?

  • Giannis' only bucket is in the video above, so...well, that was fun. His only other attempts were a three and a nearly-spectacular open-court finish where he had to shield the ball from a defender and then missed on an underlay.
  • Defensively he used his size to good effect, swatting a pair of shots around the basket and getting called for a marginal foul after he volleyball-blocked Russell Westbrook on a one-on-one break. He found himself matched against Kevin Durant a couple times, but seemed to spend most of his minutes checking the smaller (and decidedly less ball-dominating) Jeremy Lamb.
  • Five rebounds opened up a number of chances for Giannis to push the ball in the open court on his own, an experience that was exciting for both good and bad reasons. For all his play-making ability, his two open-court turnovers show he still has a long way to go in terms of playing with composure. Good with the bad.
  • His assist came on a baseline out of bounds pass that found Luke Ridnour open for a baseline jumper.