Giannis Antetokounmpo was listed as questionable to play in the first game of the 2021 NBA Finals due to a hyperextended knee that kept him out of the final two games of the Bucks-Hawks series.
“The Greek Freak” was able to raise health concerns with a monstrous block at the end of the first half of Game 1 against the Suns.
Antetokounmpo flew out of nowhere to crush Mikal Bridges’ shot from the backboard with less than a minute left in the second quarter. That ensured the Suns wouldn’t extend their lead to 10 points.
MORE: Full recap of the Suns’ Game 1 win over the Bucks
Here’s a look at the play, via the NBA’s official Twitter account.
And here’s a look at the work from another angle (and in slow motion!):
Certainly there were nuances to LeBron James’ chase block against the Warriors on that play. James blocked Andre Igoudala in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals to help the Cavaliers win the title.
NBA Twitter noted the similarities between the two plays. As such, NBA fans compared Giannis’s block to LeBron’s, while also marveling at the Greek Freak’s overall athletic prowess.
Jeff, that Giannis chase block doesn’t remember what LeBron did in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
Although it was unpleasant.
– Colb (@___Colb___) July 7, 2021
That giannis chase block is insane
– Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) July 7, 2021
That Giannis block gave me a flashback to LeBron’s Game 7 block. “Blocked by Antetokounmpo” will be a classic Mike Breen line pic.twitter.com/7AavQmyhu8
– Saransh Sharma (@ saransh_s1) July 7, 2021
I think I hyperextended my own knee watching Giannis block.
– sreekar (@sreekyshooter) July 7, 2021
Talk about playing hard / check out the effort of @ Giannis_An34 as he rushed in and made one of the great defensive plays in the @NBA playoffs with an incredible stopper. @Sun behind 16 by @DevinBook half advantage 57-49.
– Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 7, 2021
Despite Antetokounmpo’s best efforts (20 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, two steals and the block), the Suns still emerged from Game 1 of the series as the victims. Phoenix won 118-105 for a 1-0 series lead.