Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo speaks out on Marcus Smart after testy win vs. Celtics
It seems like Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo holds no bad blood against Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart. The two were involved in a pretty hard collision during their match-up on Friday.
The Greek Freak had quite the spill after Smart appeared to yank him mid-air, causing the pair to land awkwardly to the floor.
Smart, who has a reputation for employing dirty tactics defensively, was quickly lambasted online for his supposed boorish play.
But as far as Antetokounmpo is concerned, the hit was unintentional. The reigning NBA MVP even shared that he admires the feisty guard for always taking on the opposing team’s best player each night. Per The Washington Posts’ Ben Golliver:
Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo on Celtics’ Marcus Smart: “I respect him. He’s the first guy on the floor. Cheers his teammates. Plays hard. Guards the best player… I know he’s going to talk, talk all the time and get me out of my game. … I don’t think he’s a bad person.” pic.twitter.com/1bBRFjCvDU
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 1, 2020
Marcus Smart, meanwhile, didn’t have the same complimentary tune towards Giannis post-game. The 26-year-old defensive stopper called out league officials for rescinding Antetokounmpo’s 6th foul twice.
Those calls certainly had a huge impact on the close affair. The Bucks went on to capture the impressive win 119-112 to snap their three-game skid and improve to 54-12.
Giannis Antetokounmpo crushed Celtics defenders with a game-high 36 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists in 32 minutes. Smart led the Celtics with 23 points on an efficient 7-for-11 FG shooting and going 3-of-6 from past the arc.
The Bucks have now won two straight games against the Celtics this year after dropping their first encounter back in October.
Boston currently sits at the third spot in the Eastern Conference with a 43-22 slate. The Celtics definitely had revenge on their minds after getting eliminated by the Bucks, 4-1, in last year’s Eastern Conference semis.
But they’ll have to wait for a rematch, as Giannis and company reigns supreme in this one.