Giannis Antetokounmpo was under an injury cloud heading into Game 1, before he was cleared to play just minutes before tip-off.
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Coming off a hyperextended left knee which caused him to miss the last two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, Antetokounmpo put any fears to rest as he started the NBA Finals with a bang, attacking the basket and running without any noticeable discomfort.
As the first half drew to a close, there was no denying he was back to full health as he pulled off an impressive chase down block on Mikal Bridges - channelling 2016 LeBron.
As Bridges strolled to the hoop for what looked like an easy layup, the Greek Freak took off from inside his own half to spring into action and slam Bridges' shot attempt against the backboard.
The side-by-side with LeBron's swat is eerily similar.
LeBron / Giannis chase down blocks pic.twitter.com/sLLPOySCHR- Leigh Ellis (@LeighEllis) July 7, 2021
While the stakes were nowhere near as high, given LeBron's came at the crescendo of Game 7 and ultimately led to the winning a championship, the ground he made up, the angle he arrived and the sheer athleticism of the play warrants mentioning in the same breath for style points alone.
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"It felt great," Antetokounmpo said postgame of his knee. "The medical staff cleared me to play and out there I had my balance, I felt my knee was stable, did not feel pain so I felt good."
Antetokounmpo finished the game with 20 points, 17 rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block, but the Bucks fell short 118-105 as the Suns take a 1-0 series lead.
Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday, July 8, with tip-off at 9:00 p.m. ET.
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