Giannis Antetokounmpo bids to end James Harden feud but defends style of play

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Giannis Antetokounmpo insisted he was not looking for a "back-and-forth" with James Harden but defended his style of play after the Houston Rockets star suggested his power game "takes no skill at all".

The reigning NBA MVP mocked Harden's high usage rate and lax defensive game during the All-Star break, prompting a response this week.

Seemingly referring to Antetokounmpo, Harden told ESPN: "I wish I was seven feet and could just run and dunk. That takes no skill at all."

Antetokounmpo, the clear favourite to be named MVP again, put up 32 points and 13 rebounds as his Milwaukee Bucks improved to 51-8 on Friday with a 133-86 thrashing of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Greek was asked about Harden's comments after the game, but he told ESPN: "There's not a back-and-forth. [I have] never tried to take shots at somebody."

Antetokounmpo was more open in discussing his style in an indirect question following Harden's criticisms, though.

"My game is not just power, for sure," he said. "I came in when I was 18, I was 180 pounds, so to power through big guys was kind of tough.

"But obviously, there are going to be times where you've got to power through guys. Like one of the best players, LeBron, Michael Jordan, Kobe and all those guys, Shaq, all those guys, they were extremely physical with their play.

"They made their presence felt in the paint, but obviously I try to work on my game, mid-range shots, threes, being able to screen and roll faster and make the right pass. It's hard to drive full speed and try to make the right pass to the corner.

"I try to get my passes more accurate and it's a lot of things I'm still adding, and hopefully, when I add all those things in my game, I'm a more complete player and I'm better and can help my team win and the game is easier."