Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks are out of the playoffs. They had a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors, then lost four straight for the first time this season to end the series and their season. Giannis and his dip in numbers told the story. Nick Nurse and the Raptors had his number. They figured him out. That's one thing that superstars in this league elude: being trapped by defenses to the point of suffocation and losing. The "You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him" addage didn't apply to Giannis against the Raptors. They did stop it. They did contain him.
Sure, he averaged a double-double and filled the stat sheet. Let's look a little closer though. During the reguar season, in shots from 0-3 feet, he shot at a 76.9% clip. Shots from 3-18 feet he shoots well under 40%.
When I looked at all these numbers, it made me think of one guy. A guy that doesn't even play basketball. He's an elite athlete. A high-paid player. Also a guy who has severe limitations in his game. Who is the comp for Giannis? Former #1 overall pick Cam Newton.
Go with me here. Giannis eats around the basket. His mid-range, long-range and free throw shooting are all suspect. He's an elite defender to couple with his ability to finish around the basket. Most of the other aspects of his game are suspect.
Flip to Cam. Elite athlete and physical specimen the likes of the NFL haven't seen from the quarterback position (save JaMarcus Russell and his short stint in the league). He already has the All-Time record for rushing touchdowns from a quarterback. It's only a matter of time before he has the All-Time rushing record for a quarterback as well. But can he throw a five-yard slant or ten-yard out on the nose? Can he thread the needle? Eh. He may be the best short-yardage rusher from any position in NFL history. His limitations, though, are why he and Giannis are so similar.
Incredible athletes. Incredible limitations, so far, that will keep them from ever going down as one of the greats.