The potentially series-deciding game six between the Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks got chippy fast. Near the end of the second quarter, Giannis Antetokoumpo blindsided Mike Dunleavy, Jr., shouldering him as he was coming down from shooting a three. Giannis was charged with a flagrant 2 foul, and was ejected from the game. While Giannis’ actions are not defensible, they are understandable once seen through the lens of the entire game.
In the first quarter, Dunleavy got in a cheap shot on Giannis’ teammate Michael Carter-Williams.
Dunleavy was not assessed foul, which drew the ire of both Bucks fans and players. Later on, Dunleavy and Giannis got into it, with Dunleavy shoving Giannis to the ground.
Giannis clearly exaggerated the contact here, but that doesn’t change the fact that Dunleavy grabbed his jersey and pushed him quite hard. Giannis’ shouldering of Dunleavy, then, was the tipping point the previous incidents were building towards. While it’s understandable that the Greek Freak wants to stick up for himself and his teammates, he needs to do a better job of keeping his cool, especially when his team is facing playoff elimination. This will be a harsh lesson for him as he continues on his still-young path towards superstardom.
And unfortunately for Antetokounmpo, he’ll be taking a break from it at the end of tonight’s contest – the Bulls lead the Bucks by a staggering 39 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
(Vines via Vinnyviner and Hardwood Paroxysm)