It’s time to get used to seeing Giannis Antetokounmpo on this list, and Saturday was his most impressive game of the young season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – 44 points, eight rebounds, four assists
Yesterday, I had a funny feeling that I’d be writing a lot of these little blurbs on Giannis Antetokounmpo. So far, I haven’t been wrong. His night against the Portland Trail Blazers was sensational, and he saved the Milwaukee Bucks from a heartbreaking defeat. Toward the end of the game, Giannis went to the line and missed both free throws that would’ve given his team the lead. Instead of sulking, he came back and got the go-ahead dunk after slithering in behind C.J. McCollum and poking the ball away with his extendo-arm. However, the game wasn’t yet over. On the ensuing play, Portland went pick-and-roll with Jusuf Nurkic and Damian Lillard, and Giannis once again came up clutch when he met Nurkic and the rim and sent his shot back. Milwaukee won 113-110.
Stephen Curry – 37 points, six rebounds, three assists
Yes, Stephen Curry got ejected from Saturday’s contest. No, that doesn’t diminish the magnificent game he played. The Memphis Grizzlies do a great job of frustrating anybody they play, and that includes the Golden State Warriors. All night long, the Grizz stuck to the grit-and-grind style that got under the skin of the NBA’s mega-super-death team, and that’s what led to Curry’s ejection. Before that, though, Memphis had no answer for him. He dropped in the 37 points on a gorgeous 9-of-17 which included 6-of-11 from three, and the guard who some still say is “just a shooter,” was aggressive enough to work his way to the foul line 13 times, where he made all 13.
Marc Gasol – 34 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks
Without Marc Gasol putting forth a huge effort, things would’ve gotten bleak for the Grizzlies. He put pressure on Golden State’s defense from the jump and forced his way to the foul line 17 times, which was excellent for putting some of the Warriors defenders in foul trouble. Outside of that, Gasol played a picture-perfect game on defense and was the anchor for a Grizzlies team that held the Warriors to 39.3 percent shooting. He was also a go-to option for them in the post when the offense stagnated, and that was invaluable given Mike Conley‘s poor offensive performance.
- Blake Griffin – 29 points, eight rebounds, four assists
- DeMar DeRozan – 30 points, three rebounds, three assists
- Nikola Vucevic – 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists
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