After an intense first day of basketball, day two of the NBA’s return didn’t disappoint and maintained that intensity. In the big Eastern Conference matchup, the Milwaukee Bucks faced the Boston Celtics. The Bucks won 119-112 but the Celtics fans would feel it was an unfair result for them. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo ended with five fouls but Celtics players and commentators felt he should have been fouled out.
But just a couple of plays later, Giannis was again on the verge of being fouled out. After beating Jayson Tatum on the dribble, Giannis drove in with a euro step and made a layup. But just as he released the ball, Marcus Smart appeared to take a charge. It was initially called a charge but on further review, it was determined to be a block on Smart and not an offensive foul. After the final buzzer, Smart and Giannis had a little conversation as they walked off.
Charge. I love Marcus Smart. Want him in my foxhole every day. pic.twitter.com/PL5qy9Y0W3
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) August 1, 2020
Giannis clarified later about the conversation and said it was all respect from two rivals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo respects Smart’s hustle
In the post-game interview, Giannis said, “One thing I respect about him (Smart) is that he’s the first guy on the floor. He chases teammates, he plays hard, guards the best player. So that’s what I told him. I said I respect you and I respect that you play hard. There’s nothing more to that. I’m not coming at you. That’s not my personality. I just stay focused trying to help my team win.
“I know he’s going to try to talk all the time and get me out of my game and I respect that he’s doing that… When I sit down and calm down, I look back and understand what he’s trying to do. I don’t think he’s a bad person… I feel like he was moving in the last play. But either way, if it was a charge or if it was not a charge I’m happy that we got the win and I’ll learn from the play.”
It may have not been a charge, but in any case, the commentators felt like Giannis should have fouled out earlier. He elbowed Daniel Theis in the groin but it was called a technical foul instead of a personal foul, which allowed Giannis to stay and secure the win for the Bucks.
The Bucks now face former MVP James Harden and the Houston Rockets on Sunday. Both teams will be hyped going into the game, after coming off wins against Conference rivals.