Giannis Antetokounmpo was voted as one of the top five players in Eurobasket 2022.
The Bucks' Greek star averaged 29.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists a game but Greece failed to overcome Germany in the quarterfinals.
— #EuroBasket 2022 (@EuroBasket) September 18, 2022
Next to Antetokounmpo were Dennis Schroder (Germany), Lorenzo Brown (Spain), Willy Hernangomez (Spain) and Rudy Gobert (France).
Juancho Hernangomet was named the MVP of the final against France while his brother, Willy won the title of Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
Although Greece was eliminated in the quarterfinals, the Milwaukee Bucks star ended up challenging even the scoring numbers of Greek Eurobasket legend Nick Galis, Eurohoops pointed out.
Galis famously scored 30+ points in every game of the Eurobasket 1987, which ended up being the big bang of Greek basketball as the host Hellas won the tournament, beating the USSR in the final.
Giannis became the first Greek player since then to score at least 25+ in every game he played in the tournament.
However, it was evident since the first knockout game against the Czech Republic that things are not going to be easy for Greece, which survived the Round of 16, but couldn’t make it past the hosts Germany.
With all the attention of the defense on Giannis and without a solid threat from the perimeter, Germany had a 20-1 run at the start of the second half that mentally destroyed the opponents.
On the offensive end, except for Giannoulis Larentzakis (4/4 3PTS), the three-pointers of Tyler Dorsey (2/7 3PTS), Kostas Sloukas (1/4 3PTS), Kostas Papanikolaou (1/4 3PTS) and Giannis (1/5 3PTS) didn’t fall, despite many of them being open.
Mind you that Greece finished the tournament shooting 34,9% on threes. Not exactly bad, however, it’s a number that gives hope to every opponent, guiding them to the risk of trying to contain Giannis, while leaving three-point shooters open.
On the defensive end, Greece let at the start of the game Germany get hot with 7/8 threes, and when in the second half the defense changed and the switches pushed Giannis in the perimeter, Germany took advantage of the mismatches in the paint for easy buckets and offensive rebounds, while continuing shooting excellently from the three-point line.
Greece finished the game shooting 31% in threes, while Germany had an admirable 55%, for a total average of 40% in the tournament up to this point.
Still, the progress made by Giannis compared to the stubborn, but inexperienced player in FIBA rules seen in the 2019 World Cup, has been widely witnessed.
But the lack of a solid outside threat is haunting the Greek national team, as it also haunted for years the Milwaukee Bucks. And it has to be noted that entering the tournament with the two centers of the team, George Papagiannis and Kostas Antetokounmpo, injured, didn’t help either.
The positive outlook is that this was just the first tournament for coach Dimitris Itoudis with the national team – a two-time EuroLeague winner, but a rookie in FIBA tournaments – and also the fact that outside Tyler Dorsey, Greece may also have the option of adding Naz Mitrou-Long on their roster, if he gets a Greek passport, due to his Greek heritage.
The same happened with Dorsey, whose mother is half-Greek, but then the Greek national team, while having to use either Mitrou-Long or Dorsey for the sole, permitted naturalized spot on the roster.