NBA L2M: Giannis Should've Been Called for 10-Second FT Violations in Game 1

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 25, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) waits for an opening in Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Giannis Antetokounmpo's extensive setup routine on free-throw attempts has been an ongoing storyline this postseason, but the Milwaukee Bucks star got away with two 10-second violations late in Wednesday's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Per ESPN's Tim Bontemps, the NBA's last-two minute report from the game showed Antetokounmpo should have been called for violations on each of his two free-throw attempts with 5.3 seconds remaining. 

Antetokounmpo made both of his attempts to cut the Bucks' deficit to one point, but they would ultimately lose 116-113. 

The 10-second violation has been following Antetokounmpo around all postseason. His first one came in Game 1 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Miami Heat

Milwaukee held a 97-96 lead with 1:06 remaining in the fourth quarter when the officials called Antetokounmpo for a violation before he attempted a second free throw. 

Miami tied the score at 99 on a Jimmy Butler layup as time expired to force overtime. The Bucks would go on to win the game and eventually sweep the Heat, but the call established a precedent that everyone has kept a close eye on. 

During the Bucks' second-round series against the Brooklyn Nets, fans at the Barclays Center regularly counted beyond 10 in an attempt to distract Antetokounmpo. He was called for a violation in the second quarter of Game 3, though that game was played on Milwaukee's home floor. 

ESPN @espn

Giannis was called for a 10-second violation at the free-throw line. https://t.co/tTlRWxtmnI

Free-throw shooting is not a strength of Antetokounmpo's game. Since making a career-high 77 percent of his attempts during the 2016-17 season, the two-time NBA MVP has only connected 70.3 percent of the time from the charity stripe. 

In 12 games this postseason, Antetokounmpo is only making 55.4 percent of his free throws on 8.4 attempts per contest. 

The issues haven't significantly hurt the Bucks thus far, considering they are still playing and are just one round away from reaching the NBA Finals. But Antetokounmpo could end up making a costly mistake if the issue persists. 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.