Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeBasketBallNBARockets’ Jabari Smith locked down Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo in win - For...

Rockets’ Jabari Smith locked down Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo in win – For The Win

The Houston Rockets shockingly defeated the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, and it was a statement victory by the rebuilding organization.
On a long-term basis, the Rockets may prefer losses over wins so they can be more firmly in the race for coveted prospect Victor Wembanyama. But being such a young team, they also need victories like what they earned on Sunday to grow and develop.
This was a particularly important game for Rockets rookie Jabari Smith Jr., who stripped and blocked Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo on back-to-back defensive possessions in the third quarter.
Best sequence of the #Rockets season so far. Just watch Jabari Smith Jr.
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) December 12, 2022

This game likely served as a massive confidence booster for Smith, who was selected No. 3 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Smith went toe-to-toe against Antetokounmpo for the entirety of the game, defending the Milwaukee superstar for 44.2 partial possessions. That is the second-most possessions any player has guarded Antetokounmpo during the 2022-23 campaign, trailing only PJ Tucker on Nov. 18.
He's called the Locksmith for a reason 😤
📊 3 STL 1 BLK 10 REB
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 12, 2022

The results for Smith, who is still only 19 years old, were astonishing.
Antetokounmpo was 4-for-13 (30.7 percent) when defended by Smith on Sunday, per PBPStats. Some of his all-around defensive highlights against the six-time All-Star were as good as it gets:
He's called the Locksmith for a reason 😤
📊 3 STL 1 BLK 10 REB
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 12, 2022

When including data from last season, there are 31 games in which an opponent defended Antetokounmpo for at least 10 attempts from the field. Only two held the two-time NBA MVP to a lower field goal percentage.
Meanwhile, there are 48 games so far this season in which an opponent defended Antetokounmpo for at least 10 possessions. Only three of those defenders have held Antetokounmpo to a lower scoring average (18.1 points per 100 possessions) on those opportunities than Smith did.
Antetokounmpo finished the game on Sunday scoring just 16 points in 36 minutes, which is among his lowest points totals since 2017-18.
Giannis Antetokoumpo only had 16 points in his 36 minutes..
That’s the 2nd time Giannis has been held to 16 or less in that many minutes since the 2017-2018 season.
— Bradeaux (@BradeauxNBA) December 12, 2022

Smith was drafted by the Rockets largely because he is 6-foot-10 and still managed to shoot 42.0 percent on 3-pointers during his freshman season at Auburn.
But his defensive upside is clearly very high as well, and that’s great news for the Rockets, who had the worst defensive rating in the NBA last season.
Sign up for the Layup Lines newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox every morning.
Jordan Poole and the Golden State Warriors (14-13) meet Jrue Holiday and the Milwaukee Bucks (19-7) at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:30 PM ET.The Bucks are coming off of a 97-92 loss to the Rockets in their last outing on Sunday. The Warriors came out on top in their last game 123-107 against the Celtics on Saturday. Holiday’s team-high 25 points paced the Bucks in the losing effort. Klay Thompson scored 34 points in the Warriors’ victory, leading the team.The matchup between the Bucks and Warriors will be airing on fuboTV.National Basketball…
The Boston Celtics will continue their road trip on Monday night when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers at Arena in LA.
The Celtics will be looking to bounce back after dropping their last game to the Warriors as they look for their 9th win in their last 11 games with a win tonight. Meanwhile, the Clippers improved to 15-13 with a win over the Wizards on Saturday as they look for another one against one of the hottest teams in the league tonight.
We have you covered throughout the NBA season, here is everything you need to know to…
In a Tuesday NBA slate that includes plenty of competitive matchups, the New Orleans Pelicans versus the Utah Jazz is a game to see.There is coverage available for all the action in the NBA today, and we have provided the info on how to watch as well as individual game previews below.NBA League Pass: The most live games plus NBA TV. Free trialHow to Watch Today’s NBA GamesSacramento Kings at Philadelphia 76ersThe Sacramento Kings (14-11) head into a road game against Tobias Harris and the Philadelphia 76ers (14-12) at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, beginning at…

For The Win
© Copyright For The Win 2022
USA Today Sports
Powered by VIP
Please enter an email address.
Thanks for signing up.
Please check your email for a confirmation.
Something went wrong.



Most Popular