Nothing says ‘welcome to the NBA’ quite like getting your shot blocked by the reigning MVP.
That didn’t deter Zion Williamson, who gleefully went back at Milwaukee’s superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo several times when the Bucks visited New Orleans on Wednesday.
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The no.1 draft pick has quietly put together an impressive string of performances since making his long-awaited debut in January.
Williamson’s first game against Antetokounmpo was a glimpse into what could become an intriguing NBA rivalry in the years to come.
The Bucks and Antetokounmpo took the points with a 120-108 victory, but it was the back and forth between Williamson and the reigning MVP that got fans talking.
It all started in the second quarter, when the Pelicans stole the ball and got it to Williamson in transition - who was met at the rim by the Greek Freak.
Score one for Antetokounmpo, but the battle was far from over.
The Bucks superstar looked to have gotten Williamson again on a drive, but fouled the 19-year-old, who hit one of his two free throws.
Round three left fans utterly gobsmacked.
Antetokounmpo hauled in one of his 17 rebonds for the night, only for Williamson to get his hands on it and snatch it away.
The Pelicans power forward was fouled, and gave his home crowd a primal scream as he came up with the ball.
Zion just took it from Giannis 😯 pic.twitter.com/z8BTVbovT1— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 5, 2020
Williamson, still finding his feet in just his seventh NBA game, finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists, but was ultimately overshadowed by the 2019 MVP.
Antetokounmpo dominated to the tune of 37 points, 17 boards and six assists, spurring his Bucks to their NBA-leading 43rd win of the season.
Giannis, Zion heavyweight battle thrills fans
Like any clash of the NBA’s titans, Antetokounmpo and Williamson’s battle captured the imagination of basketball fans worldwide.
While the Greek Freak took the points on the first of what will hopefully be many battles between two young players emerging as the faces of the league’s future, many walked away impressed with Williamson’s energy and spirit.
giannis's face while zion calmly wrestles this ball away from him lmfao— J. Kyle Mann (@jkylemann) February 5, 2020
that was an incredible sequence pic.twitter.com/azVXlNXaCk
zion and giannis have such unique skills for their also very unique frames and watching these two compete and collide is a physics experiment— Haley O'Shaughnessy (@HaleyOSomething) February 5, 2020
need these Zion-Giannis aerial duels in slow motion set to string music— Micah Peters (@micahpeters_) February 5, 2020