The Milwaukee Bucks have not gotten off to the start many expected when they traded for Damian Lillard, as they’ve looked fairly pedestrian on offense despite pairing Dame with Giannis Antetokounmpo and have been a disaster at times on defense. Despite that, they’ve still managed to go 4-2 in large part because Dame and Giannis are good enough to overcome overall struggles.
On Wednesday night, the Bucks played host to the Detroit Pistons and were cruising along with what looked like it would be one of their more comfortable wins of the young season, right up until the 9 minute mark of the third quarter. That was when Giannis, who already picked up a T earlier in the game, went coast-to-coast and threw down a dunk over Isaiah Stewart, giving Beef Stew a little bit of the business before turning and hitting the “too small” gesture as he jogged back up the court. That somehow earned him his second technical, to Giannis and the Bucks dismay, and he got tossed.
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) November 9, 2023
This is a particularly weak taunting technical out of context, as we see guys do things like this pretty regularly and Giannis certainly doesn’t seem to cross any lines. Beyond that, when you consider this is a superstar already with one technical, there’s no way you can give him his second for something this soft. That’s the guy everyone in the building paid to come see and to eject him, he needs to do something particularly egregious. Quickly yelling in someone’s face and then doing the “too small” gesture doesn’t fall into that category, and this just shouldn’t happen.
While most thought it was a dreadful ejection he Pistons took advantage of the situation, going on an extended 51-28 run to turn a 13-point deficit into a 10-point lead in the mid-fourth quarter (the Bucks would pull back late to win thanks to Dame’s brilliance on offense), as Giannis getting tossed took one of the two most impactful defenders off of an already shaky Bucks defense.