With just under three minutes remaining in the third quarter of Tuesday's Game 2, with the Milwaukee Bucks in the midst of a 28-2 run that would ultimately put the Boston Celtics away for good, Giannis Antetokounmpo caught a pass along the left sideline, took one rhythm dribble, and casually stepped into a 25-foot 3-pointer without a second thought.
Giannis did a lot of great things in Milwaukee's bounce-back 123-102 win over Boston to ties the series 1-1. He found a way to get into transition more and was aggressive attacking cracks in the Boston walls that stoned him so often in Game 1. It was still tough sledding in a lot of ways. He only made seven field goals but forced himself to the line 18 times to bulldoze his way to 29 points and 10 boards. He made a few nice plays drawing defenders and finding shooters, and those shooters came through -- Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe, who shot a combined 7 for 22 in Game 1, combined for 59 points on 13 of 23 from 3.
But that Giannis 3-pointer? That's the really notable thing starting to develop. This pretty much sums it up:
if Giannis gonna start making threes consistently don't even bother running for your life just grab your loved ones and reminisce on the good times while you still can— James Wobden (@WorldWideWob) May 1, 2019
Antetokounmpo shot just 25 percent from 3-point range this season, which is actually down from 30 percent last season, but he took one more triple per game this season. Over the last two months of the season, Giannis increased his 3-point volume to almost four per game and shot 31.5 percent, a great number for a guy who's as threatening as Giannis is going downhill. Over the final three weeks of the season he was putting up over four 3s a game. In the first round against Detroit he shot over five 3s a game at a 7-of-22 clip. So far against the Celtics, he's 5 for 9 from deep through two games. Do the math, and Giannis is shooting 39 percent from 3 in the playoffs on better than five attempts per game.
That is absolutely terrifying. If Giannis starts taking 3-pointers comfortably, and making even a decent percentage of them, and suddenly he can punish defenders and team-defensive schemes that sag off him, forget about it. And the thing is, if you look at that stroke, it looks downright smooth. The potential for improvement is there, and with the confidence he shows in stepping into these shots, it really does feel like a matter of time until this becomes a regular part of his arsenal.
"Giannis is a worker," A Western Conference scout told CBS Sports on Tuesday night. "You know he's going to get in the gym and put the work in, and you can tell he already has. He's the kind of guy who knows basketball is the most important thing. I'll always bet on a guy like that."