Doug Gottlieb: “Literally every year a team wins a championship and here we go with the ‘DYNASTY!’ It happened last year with the Lakers. We always do this. I’ve heard ‘GREATEST SERIES-ENDING PERFORMANCE I’VE EVER SEEN!‘ because it’s 50 points. I’ll admit Giannis was outstanding last night, but the matchup favored them the entire series. Phoenix does not have the type or personnel that can match up with Giannis. The Lakers do, the Sixers do, when fully healthy the Nets did… We’ve gone completely off the team deep end. Kevin Durant was far and away the best player in that series, and I’m not sure Giannis was the second-best player in that series because he struggled. They survived a depleted Nets team in order to advance, yet somehow now we’ve gotten to this ‘iT’s gIanNiS’ lEaGuE!’, like what are you even talking about? I’m not trying to diminish their championship, but the reality is that if everyone was healthy and everybody lined up no one would go ‘The best team is the Bucks’, and I don’t believe many, if any, would say ‘if you line them all up healthy, I would take Giannis above everybody else.’ It was a dramatic finishing move but the idea that all of the sudden that erases the realities of where Giannis stands, it’s laughable. It wasn’t the best finishing game of all time, and it honestly probably wasn’t even in the conversation. You’re going to tell me that’s better than Michael Jordan’s last game with the Chicago Bulls?? We’re so prone to this hyperbole and to this immediate reaction with ‘OMG, THAT’S THE GREATEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN!’ It may be the greatest thing you’ve ever seen in the last five minutes. We do this thing where the last thing we’ve seen HAS to be the best thing we’ve seen… Why do we do this? I think we all want affirmation of how good OUR generation is. How good THIS time is. And by doing it we pick out whoever is the best and we heap this praise on it because it makes us feel better about our own failures… He’s not better than Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry, Anthony Davis, Jokic, and Luka.” (Full Segment Above)
Despite Giannis Antetokounmpo becoming just the seventh player in league history to score 50+ points in an NBA Finals game, Doug Gottlieb thinks the praise that the Finals MVP is getting at the moment has reached laughable levels of exaggeration, as Gottlieb says Giannis is still not a top 5 player in the NBA.
Giannis averaged 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.8 blocks in the series comeback that saw Milwaukee win the final four games vs. the Suns, but Gottlieb points to Phoenix’s outgunned frontcourt as the obvious reason why Giannis was able to dominate in the paint, as Deandre Ayton isn’t exactly an All-Star at this point in his career.
Gottlieb says let’s not forget about the Eastern Conference Finals when a Nets team leading the series 2-1 lost Kyrie Irving for the season with a severe ankle sprain, while James Harden was also nursing a hamstring injury that essentially made him just a decoy the entire series.
Check out the audio above as Gottlieb details why the recency bias around this series has reached metaphoric levels of silliness when it comes to Giannis’ standing in the league at the moment and the Bucks’ chances of becoming a ‘dynasty in the coming seasons.