As the Milwaukee Bucks attempted to extend their season Sunday in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the mileage was beginning to add up for Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Following a 109-81 loss to the Boston Celtics, the two-time MVP told reporters he was starting to feel the fatigue physically and mentally:
For a player at Antetokounmpo's level, failing to advance past the conference semifinals will widely be viewed as a disappointment, especially when his team had a 3-2 series lead. But the Bucks' Game 6 loss showed how this outcome can't really be laid at the feet of the 6'11" standout.
Antetokounmpo dropped 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists, which weren't enough to propel his team to a win. That's largely because the rest of the Bucks shot 22-of-58 from the field and 5-of-26 on three-pointers.
Milwaukee was always going to lean heavily on its best player, but Khris Middleton's knee injury meant the Greek Freak would have to assume an even larger role.
According to Basketball Reference, his usage rate during last year's championship run was 31.8 percent. His usage climbed to 38.9 percent this postseason prior to Sunday's game. That was on pace to be the sixth-highest in a single playoffs since 1977-78.
Of the top 10 players on that list, only Michael Jordan in 1992-93 went on to be a part of a title-winning team.
Having to be so reliant on one player hurts on two fronts. Not only does it make the offense too predictable, but said player inevitably begins to feel that burden. Even somebody as physically imposing as Antetokounmpo can only take so much.