Except for a major surprise, this season Giannis Antetokounmpo is not going to be NBA MVP. He’s in better numbers than last season, when he was; but a huge course by Nikola Jokic and the fact of accumulating two awards in a row turn against him. In this way, he will cut his streak in the regular season, although he will remain in the hands of a European player. Just in case, he keeps insisting. Against the Indiana Pacers, in a victory for the Bucks (142-133) that allows them to hope to gain some position in what little is left, the Greek player gave a couple of idioms to history. With his 40 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists, with a 77.8% accuracy in field goals, he registered numbers that had not been seen since Charles Barkley in 1988. Likewise, and to the delight of statistics lovers, the performance puts him, in the current era, close to a mark set by record holder Russell Westbrook: Since Giannis has been in the league, only the Wizards point guard has scored more games of 40 + 15 + 5, five for all three. of Anteto.
Too much inside power for the Pacers, who tried it anyway. Until the end of the third quarter, the difference between the two teams, both in sensations and on the scoreboard, was negligible. A powerful start from the premises, in fact, was the only real counterweight to a scale that was not decided. In the first quarter, under the guidance of a very successful Justin Holiday, they achieved their maximum advantage in the game, of nine points. Medium distance, penetration here, penetration there and triples, many triples: six of seven for Holiday in those first twelve minutes, in which he went to 18 points. At the end of the game, 26. He could not maintain his stratospheric rhythm from the perimeter (who could …), finishing with a more than remarkable eight out of twelve (66.7%), but he also led his own, as coral as usual. Up to seven of his teammates reached double digits in scoring. TJ McConnell went to 23, with 5 rebounds and 7 assists; Doug McDermott and Oshae Brissett until they were 19, Kelan Martin tried to put obstacles in the inside game (12 + 9) and Goga Bitadze (10 + 6 + 4) in that little bit of everything that is always necessary.