The Los Angeles Lakers will have to get through a ton of good teams if they want to make it to the 2020 NBA Finals, given the depth of the Western Conference.
Antetokounmpo’s 2021 NBA free agency has been talked about a lot in recent weeks, but his Bucks are 46-8 through the 2020 NBA All-Star break, giving them an almost 70 win pace. They also have a clear 4.5 game lead for the NBA’s best record with the Lakers coming in second. And when the Bucks took on the Lakers back in December, they simply outplayed them, leading almost the whole way and winning rather comfortably.
Daniels remembers all these facts and when asked who he felt was the most difficult matchup for the Lakers, the Bucks were an easy answer for him, according to Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Heavy.com:
Oh! That’s a good one. Milwaukee. Obviously, you seen what they did the last time they played us when Giannis hit 5 or 6 threes. If Giannis is hitting threes, that team is hard to beat to be honest with you. They’ll blow everybody out and they’ll give us a game but, can he consistently hit the three? I don’t know…
Daniels makes a great point about Antetokounmpo’s shooting. In that win against the Lakers, he went 5-of-8 from three-point range, which is his season-high in makes, attempts, and percentage. Since that game, Antetokounmpo is shooting just 26.4 percent from beyond the arc.
If Antetokounmpo can’t hit threes at a consistent clip, it becomes more realistic to guard him — even if it is still extremely difficult.
The Bucks do likely present the most matchup issues for the Lakers should they meet in a potential NBA Finals. Other than Antetokounmpo, their team practically lives at the three-point line with five consistent rotation players shooting 37 percent or better from three.
The Lakers have struggled to guard teams with endless wing players, so the Bucks absolutely present unique issues. However, Daniels seems confident the Lakers can beat anybody in a seven-game series, including Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.