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Giannis Antetokounmpo Had a Heated Moment with Celtics Star After Jayson Tatum’s Warning

Published 12/25/2022, 11:22 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks had a similar campaign last season in terms of finishing with a 51-31 record in the Eastern Conference. The two franchises battled during a hard-fought conference semifinals series earlier this year, that produced some heated moments between the two teams on and off the court. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. were in search of a second NBA championship in a row, but their dream was ended by Jayson Tatum and the Celtics during the semifinals series. During the series, the Greek Freak had a heated moment with a Celtics star following a warning from Tatum.

The Bucks had a good start to the semifinal series as they took a 2-1 lead after a close 103-101 win against the Celtics in Game 3. After the loss, Tatum sent a warning to Antetokounmpo and company before Game 4 about his team’s willingness to win. Following the warning, Antetokounmpo got entangled with one of Tatum’s teammates during the Game 4 loss.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a playoffs incident with Celtics star


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In the next game, the Boston Celtics made a huge comeback by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 116-108 to level the series by 2-2. Despite Antetokounmpo’s 34 points and 18 rebounds during the encounter, Tatum’s Celtics comfortably tied the series. Meanwhile, Giannis was also involved in a heated incident with Celtics star Marcus Smart early in the fourth quarter.

During the fourth quarter of Game 4, Giannis missed a shot from the paint, after which his teammate Brook Lopez also failed to put it through the hoop. At the time, Marcus Smart was guarding Antetokounmpo.


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In an attempt to collect the ball after Lopez’s miss, the Greek Freak ended up getting entangled with Smart as the two fell down while the play went the other way. After the fall, Smart tried to pick Giannis up, but the six-time All-Star refused to oblige. Eventually, the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year gave up after a few tries and walked away.

The Game 4 incident was one of the many instances when Giannis and Smart have gone up against one another. The Celtics star’s ability to rile things up has got the better of Antetokounmpo on several occasions in the past.

The battles between Smart and Antetokounmpo and other on-court moments have developed an Eastern Conference rivalry between the Bucks and the Celtics. Quite interestingly, before the Game 4 incident, Jayson Tatum had issued a warning to Antetokounmpo and co. about his team’s potential of winning.

Jayson Tatum’s Warning to Giannis Antetokounmpo

As reported by the Celtics staff writer Jared Weiss, Jayson Tatum had said, “Obviously I expect to play better. I’m gonna be ready Monday trying to get a win. I’m not gonna make it about me or anything like that. I gotta be better. I know that. My teammates know that.”


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Tatum and the Celtics did deliver in Game 4 and took the series by 4-3 at the end. Moreover, Tatum averaged 27.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game in seven appearances.


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In addition, Tatum also scored 46 points during a do-or-die Game 6. The Celtics forward helped his team win by 108-95, tying the series by 3-3 before winning the final game.



Rohit Kumawat

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Rohit Kumawat is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing an MBA in Media and Business Management, Rohit holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has been working as a Sports and Entertainment writer for over a year.

Edited By: Satagni Sikder