Marcus Smart says the NBA has made sure that Giannis Antetokounmpo wouldn’t make a mistake against Celtics
The Bucks had their MVP on Friday night in crunch time against the Celtics. A Celtics player said the referees wanted it that way and acted accordingly.
Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo made five mistakes when he jumped into the track of Boston Marcus Smart in the fourth quarter. Antetokounmpo was first called up on charges that allegedly bankrupted him, only to turn the conversation into a block and one-and-one on video review.
The three-point game gave Milwaukee a three-point lead, and the East’s top team won the bubble opener in Florida.
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Smart didn’t buy the reason for the fall.
“The excuse was that I was late,” said Smart. “They said the (NBA) Replay Center said I was late and it was a block. Honestly I think we all know what that was about: Giannis had six mistakes and they didn’t want to get him out. Call that just kicking and that’s exactly what it is. “
“I think we all know what that was about … Giannis has six mistakes. They don’t want to take him out. “
– Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) August 1, 2020
A minute before that review, Antetokounmpo was spared a DQ after it looked like he hit Daniel Theis. The officials found after a review that he had not committed a hostile act.
Giannis had 7 errors. The first hits Theis in the groin / abdomen, ref stops playing, looks at it and doesn’t call it a fault. A minute later, Smart takes Giannis under his wing, refs look at it and tilt it for a great game, but momentum changed after these calls. pic.twitter.com/EAkgbmNdjE
– Isaac Potter (@ impotter14) August 1, 2020
Official chief of the crew James Capers told a polar reporter that the contact was incidental and therefore not an error. He also said video showed Antetokounmpo’s hand hitting Theis on the beltline, not in the groin.
It should be noted that one of Antetokounmpo’s called errors was this offensive error that Smart sold earlier in the game.
But Smart and the Celtics will of course not handle that. They just think Giannis was given priority treatment by the league when it mattered.