Giannis Antetokounmpo has talked before about how excited he was to be playing on the Greek National Team, and if Tuesday’s game against Spain is any indication, he’s pretty damn geeked up: he put up 31 points and got 10 boards in just over 20 minutes of action.
That’s a crazy performance obviously, but do you notice anything else in this clip?
The basketball we’re seeing here is not what we’ve gotten used to seeing from Europeans.
Remember when people thought that European Basketball might change the NBA? Well it did - Stephen Curry and the other great three point shooters are proof of that - but what we see here is that the exchange goes both ways.
When the Europeans first started showing up here, they made their mark as three point shooters and passers. They kicked US butt several times because they spaced the court brilliantly and often, at the end of games, traded threes for twos because the US was so focused on penetration and dunks.
It was kind of sad, really, because it took years for the US to figure it out.
But not long after they did, the Europeans begin to play more like us. The trapezoid lane is long gone, the rules are standardized, more or less, and the fans look for NBA-style plays.
In general, it’s fair to say that the styles have converged and the game is in a better place.
By the way, Spain has been an elite European team for a long time. Greece hammered them, 86-70.