Milwaukee Bucks superstar and 2018-19 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has not had a particularly impressive 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. Antetokounmpo is tied for 76th place among all players in average scoring, and Greece recently lost to Brazil in their first round matchup in group play.
That victory for Brazil, 79-78, came with Antetokounmpo scoring just 13 points in 28 minutes. It raised quite a few eyebrows on Twitter this week, with many expecting Antetokounmpo to be able to handle some light international work.
However, Brazil’s coach says that he wasn’t really worried about Antetokounmpo. In fact, Aleksandar Petrovic said he was more worried about Kostas Sloukas and Georgios Printezis, who play in the EuroLeague.
“We showed that we have several players who can stop Antetokounmpo. But yesterday I was more occupied with Sloukas and Printezis, and that’s what happened today. When I was preparing this game, a lot of people talked and joked about how to stop Antetokounmpo. I had for six months in my head, since the semifinals between Toronto and Milwaukee, how to stop Antetokounmpo. The problem tonight for us was Sloukas and Printezis.”
That’s some pretty tall talk, although Brazil can certainly make statements like that now that they have a win over Greece.
Greece now has three points in this stage, tied with New Zealand in the Group F standings. They currently sit at second in the table, just under Brazil. Antetokounmpo and his countrymen will have to beat New Zealand on Thursday to advance to the second round.