One effective strategy for stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo: Simply throw him out of the play.
During the second quarter of Tuesday’s game between the Bucks and Nets, Antetokounmpo found himself on the floor after battling for rebounding position with Donta Hall. The recently signed Nets forward abandoned any ideas of grabbing the ball and shoved the reigning NBA MVP to the ground. Antetokounmpo clearly didn’t appreciate it.
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One courageous referee quickly grabbed Antetokounmpo as Giannis told Hall to “watch out,” preventing the situation from escalating any further. One camera angle appeared to show Antetokounmpo telling the referee, “I’m gonna f— him up.”
Fortunately for the officiating crew, Bucks and Nets players headed toward their respective benches after the initial kerfuffle. A double foul was called on the play, but no flagrant or technical fouls were assessed.
It felt like that moment was going to spark a massive Milwaukee run, but an injury-plagued Brooklyn team managed to keep its early lead against the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed. Despite 16 points, six rebounds and four assists from Antetokounmpo in the first half, the Nets entered the locker room with a 73-65 advantage.
And to make matters worse for “The Greek Freak,” he also got posterized by Justin Anderson.
The Bucks and Nets are set to face off in the first round of the 2020 NBA playoffs based on the current standings. That potential series just got a lot more interesting.