Giannis Antetokounmpo is staring down a second-round playoff sweep at the hands of the Heat after his Bucks were outscored 40-13 in the fourth quarter of a 115-100 loss on Friday night.
For a player in the running to win his second straight NBA MVP honor, such an exit would leave a stain on his otherwise sterling reputation. He shot 7 of 21 in Game 3 — including an 0-for-7 mark from deep — and watched Jimmy Butler put up more points than his entire team in the final period (17-13).
Antetokounmpo, so often the darling of social media for his style of play, received a hefty dose of criticism for his latest showing. There were also increasing murmurs about how long he'll stick around in Milwaukee.
Antetokounmpo isn't the only one under fire because of the loss — coach Mike Budenholzer is taking blame for capping the minutes of his starters and not adapting to the brick-wall defense Miami is successfully deploying against his top weapon. Still, the star player always takes most of the blame, especially when he's the lead MVP candidate.
Here's a sampling of what people were saying about Antetokounmpo after Game 3:
I just realized, the NBA makes guys leave the Bubble the day after their team gets knocked out...— nick wright (@getnickwright) September 5, 2020
WHICH MEANS GIANNIS MIGHT HAVE TO ACCEPT HIS MVP VIA ZOOM!
What is happening???
Giannis in the regular season vs Giannis in the bubble pic.twitter.com/w1S2OLSg9E— Matthew Gilpin (@matthewwgilpin) September 5, 2020
Should’ve worked out wit the superstars & played the game of chess like the rest of em Giannis pic.twitter.com/YIS1jRHSMi— biggz cares if don’t nobody else care. (@BiggaBoss_Biggz) September 5, 2020
Milwaukee, say goodbye to Giannis.— Mike Missanelli (@MikeMiss975) September 5, 2020
This y’all MVP tho. If this was LeBron y’all would be crucifying him lol— Zigg ♻️ (@XaviercMiller) September 5, 2020
Giannis in the 4th quarter of a meaningful playoff game pic.twitter.com/JDDrsEGouf— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopNBA) September 5, 2020
Giannis leading the Bucks out of the bubble pic.twitter.com/gfyCGZnSwI— Zane (@zanefive25) September 5, 2020
The Warriors front office watching Giannis get swept pic.twitter.com/Sxeq52Fyjk— Scooby’s Burner (@ScoobysBurner) September 5, 2020