Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Block On Deandre Ayton Is An Instant Classic NBA Finals Moment

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Block On Deandre Ayton Is An Instant Classic NBA Finals Moment

Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Finals was the best of the series, with the Milwaukee Bucks coming back in the fourth quarter to even the series against the Suns as it goes back to Phoenix on the backs of some sensational play from their top stars, Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Middleton led the way offensively with 40 points, providing the much-needed shot-making for Milwaukee to keep them within striking distance while Devin Booker was going crazy on the other side. The All-Star wing was nothing short of sensational, hitting key shots in key moments, both to end the first half and down the stretch in the fourth to help the Bucks take the lead and pull away.

However, the moment of the game, undoubtedly, belongs to Giannis Antetokounmpo. The two-time MVP started slow, but finished the night with 26 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists, three steals, and two blocks, none bigger than his last of the night that prevented what looked like a sure lob finish by Deandre Ayton that would’ve tied the game at 101-101.

It immediately goes on the list of the best blocks in Finals history, particularly when considering the stakes of the moment. Phoenix would never regain the lead or get the game tied again, and the Bucks don’t get the free throws late to put the game on ice if Giannis doesn’t snuff out that lob. Everything about the play is outstanding, from the way he shuts off Booker’s driving lane, meeting him high at the free throw line to ensure he can’t get comfortably to his favorite midrange jumper, and then having the ability to pivot as soon as the lob goes up, cover the ground to get to the rim, and somehow have the bounce and extension to block a 7’1 man who caught the ball at the top of the square from finishing (all without fouling).

I, at this moment, cannot get enough of this block so here are as many looks at is as I can find, starting with the slowed down reverse angle the broadcast showed.

Here’s phantom cam.

Here’s baseline phantom cam.

Here’s the super slowed down wide angle from the broadcast (where you can really see how much ground he covers with such efficiency).

And here is the photo that will live on forever for Bucks fans.

Even Giannis’ postgame breakdown of the block is tremendous, as he admits he thought he was about to get dunked on.

Just how often we see that block in video packages during future Finals will be determined by the outcome of the series, but win or lose, that is one of the most incredible individual defensive efforts you will see in a moment such as that and it deserves to be celebrated as such. For Giannis, it is maybe the best example of his gifts as a defender, from size, length, and strength to footwork and speed, it is all on full display for what has to be the signature moment of his career thus far.