Referee Calls Giannis Antetokounmpo For Controversial Technical Foul

The Milwaukee Bucks were on their way to a blowout 97-83 win over the Raptors in Game 1 on Saturday when Giannis Antetokounmpo was called for a technical foul after blocking DeMar DeRozan’s shot.

Giannis, hype about the big road win, swung his arm in celebration while facing the opposite direction of DeRozan.

It’s possible the Greek Freak let out some language that merited a T, but the call certainly looked questionable.

We posed the question on twitter, and results are overwhelmingly in favor of the call being rescinded. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO, BUCKS EARN DOMINANT WIN OVER RAPTORS IN GAME 1

The Toronto Raptors may have their eyes on an eventual showdown with the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, but Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks have other ideas.

Milwaukee came into the Air Canada Centre on Saturday and left with a dominant 97-83 victory in Game 1 to seize the series lead and home-court advantage.

As for Toronto, 27 points and eight rebounds from DeMar DeRozan and 19 points and 14 rebounds from Serge Ibaka were not enough. 

Casual NBA fans who don't consistently watch Milwaukee witnessed a perfect example of why Antetokounmpo is known as the "Greek Freak."

He is 6'11" but appears to stretch and rise even further when he extends in the lane for dunks, often finishing them with graceful power at the rim.

Casual NBA fans who don't consistently watch Milwaukee witnessed a perfect example of why Antetokounmpo is known as the "Greek Freak."

He is 6'11" but appears to stretch and rise even further when he extends in the lane for dunks, often finishing them with graceful power at the rim.

While he was the primary storyline for the Eastern Conference's No. 6 seed, his teammates also survived his second-half foul trouble, which set the stage for Milwaukee's 51-32 advantage after intermission.

Game 1 Curse Is Real

Toronto has been inept historically in Game 1, and Saturday was no different.

The Raptors now have nine straight Game 1 losses, and the nerves appeared quite real. They shot a mere 27-of-75 (36 percent) from the field and 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) from three-point range and struggled to stop the Bucks' extended momentum in the second half when the visitors turned a five-point halftime deficit into a commanding double-digit win.

What's more, the nervous crowd, which isn't accustomed to winning these first games, groaned with seemingly every Antetokounmpo basket.

It looked as if DeRozan and Ibaka were going to save the Raptors for stretches, especially in the second quarter, but Milwaukee's balanced scoring effort (six players in double figures) and Thon Maker's stellar interior defense proved effective.

The Raptors can at least take solace in the fact they reached the Eastern Conference Finals last year despite first-game losses in each of their first two series.

Kyle Lowry's Offense Vanishes

DeRozan finished with an impressive 27 points, while Ibaka anchored the interior play with a double-double, but Toronto needs its All-Star point guard to fulfill expectations as a title contender.

Kyle Lowry did some of the little things with six assists and two steals, but he was an abysmal 2-of-11 from the field on his way to four points. He played the final four games of the regular season but missed the prior 21 contests with injury.

The rust was more than apparent.

Lowry wasn't the only one to struggle for Toronto, as even DeRozan went just 7-of-21 from the field.

Toronto's struggles are also a credit to Milwaukee's strong defense, and the Bucks will look to replicate the formula for the rest of the series.

What's Next?

Game 2 is Tuesday in Toronto.

The cliche is a series doesn't start until the road team wins a game, so the Bucks wasted little time starting this one. The Raptors will need a bounce-back effort to avoid a dire 2-0 hole heading back to Milwaukee, while the Bucks have a golden opportunity to seize complete control of the series.


Giannis Antetokounmpo leads Bucks to upset of 'Game 1 Raptors'

The Toronto Raptors have not won Game 1 of an NBA playoff series in 16 years. They’ve lost as favorites and underdogs, in opening rounds and later ones, at home and on the road. With each defeat, the trend has become more and more inexplicable.

Sure enough, the ‘Game 1 Raptors’ reappeared Saturday in Toronto’s 2017 playoff opener. Even as the No. 3 seed, even as a 7.5-point favorite over the Milwaukee Bucks, the trend continued. The Raptors stumbled to a 97-83 loss and a 1-0 series deficit.

Saturday’s loss on its own, however, was far from inexplicable. It had a couple simple explanations, and one big, long one was named Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak scored 28 points to lead the Bucks to their first series-opening win in 16 years.

The first-time All-Star and soon-to-be All-NBA selection was the undisputed best player on the court for the majority of his 38 minutes. He wowed fans with his mind-boggling combination of length, athleticism and skill, and made the statement that he’s been threatening to make all season: It’s time to stop talking about Giannis and potential; t’s time to stop talking about Giannis and the future; it’s time to start talking about Giannis and the present, and perhaps even about his ability to carry this young Bucks team to a playoff series win.

But there is no definitive explanation for the way the Raptors played. They tightened up as early as the first quarter, and never loosened. A sold-out, anticipatory crowd became agitated. Groans accompanied missed shots as the Bucks jumped out to a 32-22 lead, then as the home team shot 3-of-20 to open the second half.

Raptors fans surely knew the history; they surely knew their franchise had lost eight series openers in a row; but they surely didn’t expect such a dire offensive performance — not from a team that ranked sixth in the league in offensive efficiency during the regular season.

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