The Milwaukee Bucks continue to roll.
With their 118-111 win over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night,
the Bucks hold a two-and-a-half-game lead over the Philadelphia
76ers for the best record in the NBA. It's been an insane stretch
for the Bucks, who, when zooming out, have won 21 of their last 24
games. Since Jan. 23, the start of this
24-game stretch, the Bucks rank No. 7 in offense and No. 2 in
At the forefront of this run is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who's
averaging 31.7 points on 63.4% True Shooting, 11.8 rebounds and 6.0
assists (3.8 turnovers) per contest. Those are his box-score stats
while including the two games he left early due to injury, logging
a combined 15 minutes in those contests.
It's easy to marvel at his relentless drives to the basket, his
passing on the move, the rebounding prowess and the weak-side rim
protection. He's showcased all of that during this run while
quietly shooting well from deep (37% on 2.6 attempts) in the
process. But we're not here to dig deep into that.
We're going to get weird — because Giannis' Sunday was
It was yet another box-score-filling night for him against the
Raptors. He finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists (3
turnovers) — giving him his fourth triple-double of the season. It
was a historic one for him though; he shot 100% from the field,
making him the second player this season — and the 10th player in
NBA history — to record a triple-double without missing a field
(On a related note: Had Giannis not gone 3-for-7 from the free
throw line, he would've joined Nikola Jokic and Evan Turner — yeah,
that Evan Turner! — as the only players to shoot 100% from two,
from three and the free-throw line.)
Giannis' game stands out for another reason. Since we don't have
plus-minus data for Wilt Chamberlain or Wes Unseld in the late
1960s and early 1970s, Giannis became the first player in
(recorded) NBA history to log a triple-double and shoot 100% from
the field, while his team was outscored in his minutes.
Despite Giannis' excellence, the Bucks lost his minutes by 10
points; I let out an audible cackle when I first saw that. It's
here where I pause and state the obvious: The Bucks being outscored
in Giannis' minutes doesn't mean he was bad or stat
padding or doing anything inflammatory.
But it is odd. It's never been done in a
triple-double like this. And while there have been
triple-doubles where a team has lost that player's minutes by
double digits — Domantas Sabonis just had one in a loss to the
Bucks last week — to do so in a win is even more
The reasoning behind the disparity on Sunday is simple, though:
The Raptors were able to flourish after misses and turnovers, and
also knocked down some incredibly tough shots during the Giannis
Nothing highlights that quite like Giannis' stint from the end
of the first quarter (1:42 mark) to late second quarter (3:07
mark). Giannis checked back in with the Bucks up 31-24 and checked
out with the Raptors up 56-55.
Let's take a look at five made shots from the beginning of that
A pull-up two against drop, a contested lob finish from Precious
Achiuwa, an isolation jumper from OG Anunoby, a Gary Trent Jr.
three off a scramble drill and another triple from Anunoby against
a soft switch. Of those five, you can quibble about Giannis on one
of them; he failed to grab the rebound over Chris Boucher that led
to the Trent three.
Giannis played the entire third quarter, in which the Raptors
outscored the Bucks by eight points. Again, a blend of early
offense and tough shots helped swing the tide. I mean, we
got this from Fred VanVleet, for crying out
There's not much you can do with that.