Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t just step out. He committed two other violations in the final two minutes that weren’t called as the Oklahoma City Thunder fell in controversial fashion to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

“Obviously, he stepped out of bounds,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “Everybody knows that. I did not get a chance to personally see the replay. I was trying to ask for a review.”

Officials said since there was no call, there was no ability to review the play. Had the officials said Antetokounmpo stepped out, only then could they review the play.

When asked, Stafford said this to the pool reporter:

“In any reviewable matter, there has to be a whistle called on the floor. There was no whistle blown for the play, so we couldn’t review it.”

First missed call

Antetokounmpo stayed in the lane for more than three seconds. The violation was a defensive three seconds and would have come with a Thunder free throw and possession. While Andre Roberson hit a three-pointer on the play, this would have been essentially a four-point play, bringing Oklahoma City within 93-90 instead of 93-89 with 1:48 or so remaining.

Second missed call

On this play, Andre Roberson came down with the rebound but it was Antetokounmpo who grabbed Roberson’s arm and forced Roberson to yank it free. This call is really nothing as it would’ve been the first foul within the final two minutes. In the NBA, you’re given a foul to give within the final two minutes, regardless of your foul situation. This would have been there foul to give. So, the Thunder would have retain possession from that point on the floor. Nothing was bothered by this. It’s just a stupid foul.

Third missed call

Well, you know this one. Antetokounmpo went baseline. He stepped out and lead official, Derrick Stafford, missed it blatantly and cost the Thunder the win because the basket gave Milwaukee a two-point lead with 1.7 seconds remaining. This should’ve been called and Oklahoma City would have a chance with 3.2 seconds remaining.

Other things in the Last 2-Minute Report:

Good D Josh

On the controversial play, Josh Huestis guarded Giannis Antetokounmpo very well. There was a little clamoring for maybe Huestis bodied Antetokounmpo a little too hard but the NBA said no, Huestis did a good job.

Russ Lane violation

They say on Eric Bledsoe’s second free throw attempt, Westbrook stepped into the lane early. He did. However, if you make the calls you should’ve made earlier in the game, we’re not even in this position.

What does all of this mean? Nothing. Oklahoma City can protest and it will come to no avail. The precedent it will set with forcing the game to be replayed or taking the points away would be a horrible one. If you replay that point, why not the foul in the first quarter on and and-one? That’s the argument you’ll get.

Secondly, the NBA needs to address these type of plays. Whether it is allowing coaches a challenge or allowing the NBA’s replay center to signal to the scorer’s table to do a replay.

For Derrick Stafford, he’s not having a good week. He was on the call on Christmas where he was cited for missing three no calls against Kevin Durant fouling LeBron James.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.