Giannis Antetokounmpo is not usually one for losing his composure, but on Tuesday night, the reigning league MVP got tossed from Milwaukee’s game against Washington for headbutting Wizards center Moe Wagner. His ejection came after 10 minutes of work, and while he was following things from the locker room, the Bucks took care of business and won, 126-113.
It was expected that Antetokounmpo would receive some sort of punishment from the league for this, and on Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that he’s caught a one-game suspension. As a result, he’ll be on the sideline for Milwaukee’s game against Memphis on Thursday.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been suspended one game without pay for headbutting a Washington Wizards center during a stoppage in play.
Antetokounmpo will serve his suspension Thursday when Milwaukee faces the Memphis Grizzlies. pic.twitter.com/Yx46c2a6pV
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 12, 2020
This isn’t particularly huge news for Milwaukee — odds are Antetokounmpo wasn’t going to go all-out during the final seeding game with the team’s No. 1 seed locked into place — but the implications are gigantic in the race for the 8 and 9 seeds in the Western Conference. The Portland Trail Blazers are in eighth, a half-game up on the Grizzlies in ninth and the Phoenix Suns in 10th. The easiest path forward for Memphis is to just take care of business, and while the Bucks are incredibly deep, that becomes slightly less difficult with Antetokounmpo out.
As for Phoenix and Portland, the former play the Dallas Mavericks in a game that tips off at the same time as Bucks-Grizzlies. The latter, meanwhile, play the Nets on Thursday evening, so they’ll know exactly what they have to do when they take the floor.