Team Giannis vs. Team LeBron a Subtle Finals Preview?


In a tense episode of the cartoon show Dragon Ball Z, hero Goku fights the alien Freeza. Goku’s friend Piccolo observes, “they’re both monsters: one of them good, the other, evil.” While LeBron isn’t evil, one can’t help but ponder how Team Giannis battled him to the bitter end in the All-Star game. The Greek Freak went Super-Giannis Sunday night in a potential preview of a Lakers-Bucks Finals fans already are fantasizing over.

Anticipation Building

Even on January 2nd, ESPN was already teasing fans about the Finals.

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Hmm, Chiney Ogwumike, a star for the WNBA LA Sparks, may be a wee bit biased. Moreover, it’s silly to dismiss a team based on an opponent hitting 21 threes. Toronto rudely denied Giannis last season, leading to dark soul-searching. He’s more determined today. Also, it’s silly to say, “oh, playoffs are different.” Statisticians find the best indicator of playoff success is simply regular-season record. A team on pace for 70 wins won’t suddenly fall in May because of a “slower pace.” Therefore, we mustn’t dismiss the Bucks’ 111-104 triumph in December.

Giannis vs. LeBron

Giannis dominated with 34 points in the rout, never as close as the final score.

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A tired LeBron was very complimentary of Giannis after the game. The 35-year-old legend isn’t afraid to give sincere respect when an opponent earns it.

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Sunday’s All-Star matchup was the most intense Giannis vs. LeBron battle ever. Giannis had numerous highlights, with most of them coming in the walkthrough first three quarters.

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Perhaps the most impressive play of Giannis’s basketball life, however, came in the intense untimed fourth quarter. Hey, this isn’t Bucks Lead hyperbole either: blocks don’t get better! Team LeBron needed three points to win, but Giannis dethroned the King.

A stinky Kyle Lowry foul handed Team LeBron the win, but Giannis made his proclamation.

Ready For June

FiveThirtyEight and their fancy statistical model still only gives Milwaukee a 36% chance to make the Finals. Thankfully, Goku didn’t listen to the long odds to save the universe, and Giannis shouldn’t blink either! Well, the statisticians are right in that a lot more work needs to happen to fight LA in the playoffs. However, the process of seven year’s improvement culminated in the shocking thwarting of the NBA’s 2000s icon. Giannis is ready, so get the brooms, champagne, and, most importantly, the sunglasses. With one flick of the wrist, Giannis established himself as the game’s biggest name, best athlete, and a sport’s best challenger for the ever-changing mantle of GOAT.

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About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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