On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Bucks entered the evening with very little to play for against the Washington Wizards. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from a one-game absence, presumably to stay sharp as the playoffs loom. While the NBA MVP favorite stayed on the floor for ten minutes in the first half, Antetokounmpo’s night was cut short, not by a team decision to rest him, but by an official’s choice to eject him after he delivered a headbutt to Wizards big man Moe Wagner.
Giannis gets ejected from tonight's game. pic.twitter.com/POg9CZnhgo
— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) August 12, 2020
In the ten minutes before Antetokounmpo was ejected, he produced 12 points and nine rebounds. Obviously, those are strong numbers and, in terms of basketball, he looked more than fine. Still, this wasn’t ideal from Antetokounmpo, who didn’t even make it to halftime before garnering the Flagrant 2 and the ensuing automatic ejection.
Going back to Michigan, Wagner does have a reputation as something of an instigator and that could have been the case here. At the same time, it isn’t often that you see a superstar ejected for this kind of thing and, while the overall impact of Antetokounmpo’s early exit is quite low, it was a bit strange. Still, the Bucks have only one more game after Tuesday night — a tilt against Memphis that is gigantic for the Grizzlies in the Western Conference playoff race — and perhaps Antetokounmpo is simply ready for the playoffs to arrive.