Giannis Antetokounmpo On Staying Aggressive While Playing Physically: ‘Nobody Said It’s Going to Be Easy’

A 34-point and 18 rebounds performance by Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn’t enough to overcome the Celtics and the sublime scoring of Al Horford and Jayson Tatum, who combined to score 60 points off eight three-pointers.

The Celtics-Bucks are quickly becoming a fun and intense series as the two Eastern Conference foes share stare-downs and plenty of trash talk during a semifinal playoff series that’s been lauded for its physicality.

Game 4 left its rugged signature with a couple of plays, one each from The Greek Freak and Horford. Antetokounmpo’s third-quarter poster woke Horford up and set the tone for a momentum-shifting second half for the C’s, poking the proverbial bear into posting a vintage performance that forced the semifinal series into a 2-2 tie.

Horford got his revenge on the two-time MVP, yamming one hammer so viciously that Horford was given a technical foul after accidentally elbowing Antetokounmpo in the face as he celebrated from sideline to sideline. The big-time play was the impetus to the Celtics going on a 10-0 that helped them outscore the Bucks 68-54 and led to the two-time national champ outscoring Antetokoumpo 19-17.

“Nobody said it’s going to be easy,” Antetokounmpo said when asked about how the series feels like on both ends of the floor. “At the end of the day, we know what the deal is now. We gotta go to Boston. We gotta play good basketball.”

“But now with how (my) body feels and what we feel in our mind and all that — who really cares. Nobody really cares; we know what the deal is; we gotta keep going there. Boston plays good basketball, play together, have fun, enjoy the game.”

Heading into a pivotal Game 5 back in Beantown, Milwaukee and Boston will be looking to make some adjustments that will give them an edge. In a series as competitive and entertaining as this series, just the slightest mistake could be the difference between going home or playing the Eastern Conference finals against the winner of the Miami-Philadelphia semifinal.