Giannis Antetokounmpo is the reigning MVP, but he’s definitely not satisfied with that yet. He’s the best young player in the world and continues striving for greatness as he looks to win his first NBA Championship.
And now that LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard are out of their way in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks are the team to beat, as you can tell by its record.
Stopping Giannis is a must for all teams trying to go the distance in the East, but that’s easier said than done. That being said, it’s clear that several teams need to strengthen the paint if they want to have a shot at containing him.
So, with the Boston Celtics reportedly looking to add more talent to their team prior to the trade deadline, let’s take a look at the 5 big men they should pursue to keep Giannis in check in the paint:
Serge Ibaka is no longer the top-tier rim protector he was during his days at Oklahoma City, but he’s still one of the best defenders in the paint, and even if he’s a bit undersized, he makes up for it with his strength.
It’s not easy to stay in front of Giannis. He’s fast, strong, athletic and has a huge wingspan. Ibaka’s deal is expiring and the Raptors would be wise to get something in return for him.
Marc Gasol is currently sidelined with an injury and his offensive role has taken a major bump this season, but the Celtics wouldn’t need him to do much in the offensive end this time. They just need him to defend.
Gasol’s deal is expiring and his aging as well. He’s a former Defensive Player of the Year and already knows how to lockout Joel Embiid, which is another plus. Also, he’d fill the void Al Horford left down low.
Blake Griffin’s season is likely over and the Detroit Pistons aren’t going to make the playoffs. That’s just a fact. Hence, the team should be looking to start over and find Andre Drummond a new home.
Drummond has become one of the most physical rim protectors in the league and he’s the most dominant rebounder right now. Giannis gets a lot of second chances thanks to his height and length, but Drummond’s presence could change that.
We’ve been expecting Myles Turner to have a breakout year since he made it to the league, as he’s one of the most talented two-way men in the world. However, that’s yet to happen, at least in the offensive end.
So, if the Pacers doubt how he’ll fit with Domantas Sabonis going forward, the Celtics could make a run at him. He’s a top-notch shot blocker that can also defend in the perimeter, which would be perfect to keep Giannis in check.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have found the way to keep competing for a playoff spot, but that’s unlikely to be sustainable if the Blazers and Spurs continue to turn their seasons around.
The Thunder would be better off rebuilding and Steven Adams would be the odd man out. Gladly for him, the Celtics would be delighted to have him as their defensive anchor. He’s one of the best pick-and-roll defenders in the league.