Doc Rivers: LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo are "very different players"
LOS ANGELES – LeBron James is undeniably the best player on the planet and has been for the last decade. With an NBA Finals appearance at just 22 years of age and now seven straight Finals appearances For his 1049-game career, James has averaged 27.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.7 steals while taking his Cavs’ team to its first NBA Finals appearance at just 22 years of age.
While no player has been able to replicate what James has done on the court, one player is starting to come close playing up north for the Milwaukee Bucks. Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has had his long-anticipated breakout season, averaging 23.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.9 blocks per game. The play style of the Greek Freak and the King have drawn some similarities due to their abilities to complete a defensive sequence with a rebound and push the ball in transition by going all the way to the basket or finding a teammate for an open shot.
In his last two games, L.A. Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers has seen his team take on Antetokounmpo in a loss to the Bucks on Wednesday and was expected to play against James and the Cavs until coach Tyronn Lue opted to rest him along with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.
I asked Rivers if he’d seen any similarities in the games of LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he explained why he felt they’re different.
“No, I just think they’re completely [different], both.. I mean LeBron is already great, and Giannis is on his way. I don’t think we have to compare them. Giannis is so long, ya know. [While] LeBron, is [just] so big. They are different.
“LeBron’s more of a point guard or whatever you want to call him. I’ve never known what to call LeBron. I really haven’t. Because he is a point guard, and Giannis is more of an attacker, so they are different.”
According to NBA.com/Stats, 85.2% of Antetokounmpo’s shots are two-point field goals, and 62.5% of his two-point field goals come from within 10 feet of the basket. James takes more shots from outside, with 74.2% of hit shots being two-point shots and 25.8% of his shots coming from behind the three-point arc.
Although you know what LeBron James wants to do, his play style is very hard to stop. The same goes for Giannis Antetokounmpo, and that’s something Rivers can agree on.
“They’re both freaks, I think that would be the comparison. Their body types are just… people don’t come around a lot, [like that], on Earth, and it’s a blessing.”