Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, Adrian Griffin brush off mid-game argument in loss to Celtics



The Milwaukee Bucks’ five-game winning streak came to an end on Wednesday with a 119-116 defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics. Though the final score indicates a close game, the Bucks were down by as much as 21, and spent much of the night trailing by double digits before mounting a desperate comeback attempt. 

It was a frustrating evening for everyone in the Milwaukee contingent, especially Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was limited to 21 points on 7 of 20 from the field. In addition to posting his worst shooting night of the season, he appeared to have an odd mid-game argument with head coach Adrian Griffin. 

In the middle of the third quarter, Antetokounmpo was called for a palming violation, and Griffin subbed him out of the game. That seemed to upset the two-time MVP who never went to the bench, but instead sat at the scorer’s table having a contentious conversation with the first-year head coach. Antetokounmpo then checked back into the game at the next dead ball. 

Post-game, Griffin downplayed the incident. 

“He wanted to stay in, I wanted to give him a breather. That’s all it was,” Griffin said. “And then I told him to stay at the table for one possession, and he got right back out there.”

Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, refused to discuss it. 

“No,” was all Antetokounmpo offered when asked for his point of view. 

In a vacuum this isn’t a big deal. Players and coaches have impassioned discussions and debates all the time throughout the course of a season, and the Bucks were in the middle of a difficult night.

It is probably worth filing this moment away, however, given Griffin’s tumultuous start with the Bucks and the pressure the team is under to compete for a championship this season. Veteran coach Terry Stotts quit during the preseason after an incident with Griffin during a shootaround, and the Bucks players had to have an intervention to convince Griffin to change his defensive scheme. 

Despite the team’s 10-5 record, there have now been more than a few warning signs about Griffin’s ability to handle this responsibility. 





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