Central Notes: Giannis, Griffin, Bogdanovic, Hield, Cavs

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Adrian Griffin appeared to have a “heated” disagreement during the third quarter of Milwaukee’s loss to Boston on Wednesday, but the Bucks‘ head coach downplayed the incident after the game, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

Antetokounmpo didn’t want to be subbed out midway through the period after being called for a carrying violation and sat on the scorer’s table talking to Griffin, eventually checking back in at the next dead ball.

He wanted to stay in, I wanted to give him a breather. That’s all it was,” Griffin said. “And then I told him to stay at the table for one possession, and he got right back out there.”

Antetokounmpo simply said “no” when he was asked what transpired.

As Bontemps writes, the matchup between the East’s top two seeds was lopsided for most of the contest, with Boston reeling off 10 straight points to open the game and never trailing. The Bucks made things interesting late, but the Celtics prevailed by a final score of 119-116.

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic is nearing his 2023/24 season debut for the Pistons, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscriber link). Bogdanovic, who has been battling a right calf strain, was recently cleared for contact work and was a full practice participant on Wednesday. Getting their top scorer from last season back in the near future is certainly welcome news for the injury-ravaged Pistons, who have lost a league-worst 12 straight games and once again hold the worst record in the NBA at 2-13.
  • Pacers wing Buddy Hield got his second straight start on Wednesday in place of Bennedict Mathurin, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Head coach Rick Carlisle was noncommittal when asked if the lineup change he implemented for Tuesday’s contest would be permanent or temporary. Aaron Nesmith, who replaced Obi Toppin at power forward on Tuesday, was sidelined with a sprained wrist, so Toppin was back in the starting lineup yesterday. Hield, who had been in a shooting slump, has been scorching hot the past two games, averaging 27.5 points while shooting 75.0% from the floor and 72.2% from three-point range.
  • Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell missed his fourth straight game on Wednesday due to a hamstring strain, notes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (via Twitter). While there weren’t many positives from the Cavs’ blowout loss to the Heat, rookie guard Craig Porter Jr. got his first career start and continued his streak of strong performances, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (subscriber link). Porter, who went undrafted in June and is on a two-way contract, recorded 16 points (on 6-of-12 shooting), five assists, two rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 35 minutes.
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