NBA

NBA playoffs 2021: I wanted to play football growing up, not basketball – Giannis after juggling exhibition in Bucks win

By Sports Desk May 25, 2021

Giannis Antetokounmpo revealed his love for football after leading the Milwaukee Bucks past the Miami Heat in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference matchup in the NBA playoffs.

Antetokounmpo led the way as the Bucks routed the Heat 132-98 on Monday for a commanding 2-0 lead in the first-round series.

Two-time reigning MVP Antetokounmpo posted 31 points in 31 minutes, while also tallying 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals on home court in Milwaukee.

A superstar with the basketball, Antetokounmpo also demonstrated his football skills after juggling the ball during a break in play against the Heat.

Afterwards, Greece international Antetokounmpo told reporters: "I can do probably like 300 of those.

"I used to play soccer when I was young. My dad used to be a soccer player. I love soccer.

"I wanted to play soccer. I didn't want to play basketball growing up."

Milwaukee – seeded third in the east – used a 46-20 opening quarter to crush Miami in Game 2 of their NBA playoff clash.

Jrue Holiday (11 points and 15 assists) added a double-double of his own, while Bucks team-mate Bryn Forbes made six three-pointers to contribute 22 points off the bench.

The Bucks set a franchise record for threes made in a playoff game after nailing 22 from beyond the arc.

Forbes, who joined the Bucks in November following four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, said: "That was a huge part in me coming here. You know that there would be these opportunities and we would be in the playoffs. ... It's just great to be in this position, be in the playoffs again and have an opportunity and stage."

"It's just how the game goes," Forbes added. "It's ebbs and flows. Some games you're open a lot more. Some games you aren't. Tonight I think we moved the ball great and had a lot of open shots."

Bucks star Holiday hailed Forbes, saying: "If my man got the hot hand, I'm going to him. And he wasn't missing, so at that point we were running everything to him just to -- really just to see what happens."

It was an impressive shooting display from the Bucks as head coach Mike Budenholzer added: "Guys have got to shoot it with confidence. They've got to let it fly. They've got to know they’re going to get threes.

"I think the activity offensively, the attack, can create good looks for us. We've just got to continue to let it fly when you're open."

"Lots of times, there's just so much talent in the league and so many good teams, sometimes you get the early lead and things just happen and it becomes a close game," Budenholzer said. "Today we were able to keep the focus."

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    He scored twice against Switzerland in the group stage and had the second best goals-per-90-minute ratio of any Italy player (0.66) in the tournament after Matteo Pessina (0.95).

    Former Milan man Locatelli also won more tackles per 90 minutes (2.32) than any Italy player at the Euros, followed by Marco Verratti (2.02) and Federico Bernardeschi (1.42).

    Arsenal have already made a bid for the midfielder, while fellow English side Liverpool have also been linked, but Nedved is positive Juve can win the race for his signature.

    "We spoke to Sassuolo and we made our offer, which we believe is appropriate for the current climate, with the way finances and the transfer market have been affected by COVID," Nedved told Sport Mediaset.

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    Nedved's comments come after Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali revealed last week that Locatelli would prefer a move to Juventus.

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    KRISTIN OTTO – 6 (SEOUL, 1988)

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