MILWAUKEE – The Giannis Antetokounmpo–Jayson TatumRivalry is here. It is the defining feature of the Eastern Conference's present and could continue well into the future.
Antetokounmpo has been up Wilt ChamberlainNumbers for Shaquille O’Neal and Tatum. Tatum, a 75-year-old legendary franchise with 17 championships, is breaking records for all the retired jerseys.
Then there's the Boston CelticsAnd Milwaukee BucksHaven't even tried Game 7 yet.
This series is black-and-blue, with the Advil and ice bag counts increasing by the game. Antetokounmpo & Tatum were brilliant in Game 6, Friday night. The Bucks star was slamming Tatum with two-by-4s, and the Celtics star responded with high-arching dagger jumpers. This cruelly extended each punch to the stunned Bucks' crowd.
To even the series, the Celtics won 108 to 95. This was their second win in Milwaukee in the last week. These teams are so close that the road teams are now 4-2.
Antetokounmpo scored 44 points, had 20 rebounds, and had six assists. He is the third player to score 40/20/5 in playoffs play, joining Chamberlain, O'Neal, and O'Neal. This series has seen him play three games with 40 points and 10 rebounds.
He's only the third player to score three consecutive 40-point goals against the Celtics during the playoffs. The two other players are Jerry WestHe won the MVP in 1969, the historic Finals. Los Angeles LakersLosing and LeBron JamesIt was done by, in 2018, in one of his most prolific series.
Tatum is right there. After outscoring, outrebounding and out-assisting Tatum, outstealing and outshooting Brooklyn NetsStar Kevin DurantTatum will start at the Finals MVP for this series in round 1.
Tatum scored 46 points Friday to be second in the team's elimination games behind Sam Jones, a Hall of Famer. He has two 45-point playoff games, something Larry Bird would be proud of. John HavlicekPaul Pierce Bob CousyNever did for the Celtics.
With six minutes remaining, the Bucks cut an 18-point lead to five. Flashbacks to the Celtics' 14-point fourth quarter lead were brought to mind. Tatum scored a devastatingly long 3 pointer that ended the momentum in the most memorable moment of the night.
Tatum stated that “This was our time on the line” and that he knew this. “That's the mindset I have, and that of all of us. I didn't intend to regret anything and leave nothing out.
He made 14 contested shots, according to ESPN Stats & Information, demoralizing the Bucks and their crowd. All of them had come to Fiserv Forum hoping to see the Bucks win. This title-winning group had won the last eight closeout games.
Tatum was disappointed in Game 3, when he shot 4-of-19 and played his worst game in the postseason. Tatum promised to do better. Tatum averaged 37 points per game and 9.3 rebounds in the three previous games. Tatum's 18 points in the opening half set the tone for the Celtics. He gave them a 10-point lead at halftime.
Tatum's 16-point fourth quarter performance was even more impressive. This was the type of effort that a superstar puts forth in elimination games.
“That's how he gets paid the huge bucks for moments like those,” said Marcus SmartShe scored 21 points. “I told him all the time, ‘just be you man.' He was.
Antetokounmpo, without the injured Khris MiddletonHis already incredible production has been accelerated by. In the series, he's averaged 35.3 points, 13.8 rebound, and 6.8 assists. He went 14-of-15 at foul line Friday night. He and his team lost.
Antetokounmpo and Tatum, while both possess the basketball triplet of height, versatility, and skill, are very different players. Antetokounmpo was a fan of Magic Johnson and Kevin Garnett. Tatum was a big fan of Kobe Bryant. You can see it in their matches. It is not the most natural matchup.
It doesn't matter. You can't watch the last two weeks of their actions and not want to know more.
It is foolish to make predictions and proclamations about how many times the duo will do it again. There is no way to know for certain. Antetokounmpo, however, is 27, Tatum 24,
They will play one more time this year. The winner will feel like the winner of a prizefight, and the loser will be distraught and waiting for another chance. What more can a basketball enthusiast ask for?
Tatum stated, “I was excited for Game 6.” “This was a huge moment for me and the team. We believed, and we really believed that we could win, and it did.