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Sport Marcus Smart thinks refs protected Giannis Antetokounmpo on controversial foul call

18:31  01 august  2020
18:31  01 august  2020 Source:   yardbarker.com

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A foul call late in Friday night’s Milwaukee Bucks 119-112 win over the Boston Celtics helped swing the game, and Marcus Smart thinks he knows the reason for the call.

Marcus Smart holding a basketball: Marcus Smart isn't happy with the officials. © Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports Marcus Smart isn't happy with the officials.

Smart got in front of a driving Giannis Antetokounmpo with 1:28 left in the game to take a charge, but he was called for a foul instead. Antetokounmpo’s layup counted, and he made a free throw, which turned the game from tied at 107 to putting Milwaukee up 110-107.

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Milwaukee continued to expand its lead and ended up winning by seven.

After the game, Smart said the foul was called on him rather than on Giannis because the refs did not want to give Antetokounmpo his sixth foul of the game.

Antetokounmpo wasn’t offended by Smart’s theory. Instead, the MVP candidate praised the Celtics guard as a “great player.” Antetokounmpo praised Smart for playing hard and taking on tough assignments defensively.

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  Mike Budenholzer: Giannis Antetokounmpo deserves back-to-back MVPs What else was Budenhozer going to say? That doesn’t make him wrong. Antetokounmpo averaged 29.6 points per game with a ridiculous 60.8 true shooting percentage, plus he averaged 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. However, what really separates Antetokounmpo from LeBron James, James Harden and every other elite offensive player in the league is the other end of the court — the Greek Freak has been a Defensive Player of the Year caliber player. He has lifted his team to the best record in the league with his play on both ends.

Whether he was right or wrong about the reason, the foul call was a game-changer that worked significantly in Milwaukee’s favor. And once again, Smart has some issues with the refs.

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Is Giannis ready to take his place in NBA history? .
Every week, Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill will reveal his ballot for an NBA superlative award for the 2019-20 season. The ballots were due before the restart of the season at Walt Disney World. The NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award has become increasingly difficult to assess because of the increased amount of advanced information and the way the game has evolved over the years. Michael Jordan (1988) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1994) are the only players since the defensive award’s inception in the 1982-83 season to win both awards in the same season, with Olajuwon leading the Houston Rockets to the NBA title, a feat Antetokounmpo hopes to achieve this fall.

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