Hawks ‘absolutely’ hope it’s called if Giannis exceeds free-throw time limit

062321 Milwaukee: Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young looks on as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo gets five from teammate after scoring and drawing a foul to take a 102-98 lead over the Hawks with 4:31 left to play in game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in Milwaukee. The young and relentless Hawks rallied in the final minutes for a 116-113 victory over the Bucks.  “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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062321 Milwaukee: Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young looks on as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo gets five from teammate after scoring and drawing a foul to take a 102-98 lead over the Hawks with 4:31 left to play in game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in Milwaukee. The young and relentless Hawks rallied in the final minutes for a 116-113 victory over the Bucks. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

The Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo exceeded the free-throw time limit twice on his final trip to the line in Game 1 on Wednesday, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report, when calls and no-calls are reviewed.

Antetokounmpo’s lengthy free-throw routine has gotten more and more attention throughout the playoffs, with some visiting team crowds even counting to 10 as he approaches the line (players have 10 seconds to release a free-throw attempt).

It’s something that Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan wants officials and the league to keep a closer eye on moving forward. The Hawks won Game 1 116-113. Antetokounmpo went 6-for-8 from the line, leading the Bucks with 34 points and 12 rebounds, with nine assists.

“Absolutely it’s a rule that we want them to call,” McMillan said Friday in Milwaukee, ahead of Game 2. “So the NBA announced that that should have been called, and we hope that if that happens again, that it is called.”

It’s a somewhat tough situation, as officials don’t have a stopwatch on hand to count out every free throw or lane violation, as Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer pointed out.

“It’s like if you had a stop clock every time someone was in the offensive paint for three seconds, I guarantee you, any type of timing mechanism is something that happens on a regular basis. If you had a clock on an out-of-bounds play how many times it would take more than five seconds and if you wanted to put a stopwatch on it. It’s an unfair thing to the referees.

“All things that are timing, the game isn’t done with a stop clock, and we wouldn’t want that for three seconds, we wouldn’t want that for out-of-bounds. The rules are the rules just like they are for everything else. There’s a lot of respect for the rules and what the referees have to do and what the league has to do and what Giannis has to do. It’s not that complicated. He’s going to get to the free-throw line, he’s going to shoot them. We are kind of on the side that we hope he makes them, and it’s kind of end of story.”

From McMillan’s perspective, though, those calls should be made with more consistency: “Call it. (Budenholzer is) right, though. There are guys that are camping in the lane for three seconds. Sometimes that’s not called, just as he mentioned on both ends of the floor, the offensive end of the floor as well as the defensive end of the floor. What we have to do is try to bring that to the attention of the league, to the officials during the game, and hopefully they make those calls. It’s the same thing with the 10 seconds at the free-throw line.

“So it’s not called every time, and the officials, sometimes they miss that. We want them to be consistent with making those calls.”