Giannis Antetokounmpo sat out of the Milwaukee Bucks' last game -- a win over the Orlando Magic -- due to a sore back, but he was back in action on Monday night, and that was bad news for the Chicago Bulls. Not that any team does, but the Bulls just have no answer for the reigning MVP, and he put on an absolute show, finishing with 23 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two huge slams in just 27 minutes of action in the Bucks' 123-102 win.
It didn't take Antetokounmpo long to get the contingent of Bucks fans who made the short trip to Chicago out of their seats. Just a few minutes into the game, Giannis got out on the break and soared for an alley-oop courtesy of Eric Bledsoe, who himself was returning to action for the first time in a few weeks.
For many players that would be the play of the game, but by now we know the deal with Giannis; he's always capable of one-upping himself, and in the middle of the third quarter, he delivered. With Khris Middleton controlling the ball up at the top of the key, Giannis arrived to set a screen, then slipped to the basket and looked for the pass. He got just what he was hoping for, catching a nifty bounce pass from Middleton in stride, with an open lane in front of him. Without even needing to put down a dribble, he exploded to the basket and rocked the rim with a destructive one-handed slam.
Even with everything they've seen from Giannis over the years, the Bucks bench was in awe after this slam. Thanasis Antetokounmpo stood wide-eyed, while Wes Matthews needed to administer CPR to Robin Lopez, who collapsed in disbelief. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be video of Matthews' life-saving intervention.
Yet somehow, that might not have been the best dunk thrown down by a Bucks player in the game. Just a few minutes after Giannis' show-stopping slam, Pat Connaughton soared for a highlight-reel finish of his own. The swingman has some incredible hops, and showed them off by getting way up to slam home a missed 3-pointer by Kyle Korver.
Giannis' slam had the pure power, while Connaughton's dunk had the element of surprise, and throwing it down with his off-hand adds some bonus points. In the end, Giannis' effort probably just shades out Connaughton's due to the ferocity, and the picturesque nature with which flying through the air.
Still, the fact that Connaughton made it a real contest is pretty impressive. And for the Bucks, it's a great night when the biggest question you have to ask about the game is which one of your team's dunks was cooler.