The Bucks followed up their loss against Memphis with a statement win over the 76ers on Thursday.
Addressing Giannis Antetokounmpo after the buzzer, Shaquille O'Neal called the 2x MVP "mean" in a glowing review of his performance:
"[People] been sleeping on the Bucks because they haven't been at full strength all year. So of course when you're the defending Champs and you lose games, people are gonna worry about you. But they seem to be at full strength right now. Giannis has been playing the same way all year. he developed that game that we didn't want him to develop, but he's developed it very nicely. So now we can't say anything. He's shooting the three well mid-range, post he's playing well. The difference between him and [Joel] Embiid that game? He was a little meaner... he's mean."
Say what you want about the Bucks, but they've earned some respect.
After being counted out last season, Giannis led them to a title, beating the Nets, Haws, and Suns along the way. Somehow, this season, they've gone almost completely under the radar.
"I think it starts to become a little bit ridiculous that people love to discredit what Milwaukee did last year," said Jay Williams. "It seems like there are a lot of excuses around it. I'm getting to this point now where I'm looking at Giannis and I'm saying, 'Are you the most disrespected superstar of this generation?' He’s not as sexy as a Joel Embiid, or he’s not doing the way Kevin Durant has done it."
At 47-28, Milwaukee is on track for another long playoff run. In fact, with Giannis looking as good as ever, don't be surprised if he hoists another Championship this summer.
Until then, the Bucks are going to continue doing their thing, even if it means going unnoticed by the vast majority of fans and analysts.