Giannis Antetokounmpo Angry About Bucks Losing To Heat
Giannis Antetokounmpo was angry about the Milwaukee Bucks’ 115-104 defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat on Monday night. It wasn’t so much that his team is now down 0-1 in their best of seven series. After all, the same thing happened in the first round against the Orlando Magic.
It was more about how it happened and the fact that it was now happening for a second consecutive Game 1 in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
After the game, Antetokounmpo tried to say all the right things.
“We’ve been here before,” he said.
“Going down 0-1 against Orlando, we did the same thing last year against Boston … We’ve got to come out and play Game 2, man. It’s a big game. Our season is on the line. We’ve got to come out, play hard, watch the tape, make the adjustment, be aggressive, make the right play and hopefully we can win the game.”
But despite trying to seem calm, the reigning league MVP was clearly on edge. His irritation was on full display when a reporter wondered if he had asked to guard the blazing hot Jimmy Butler in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s outing.
“To guard him? No, I didn’t,” he replied.
“Why would you ask that? I’ll do whatever coach wants me to do.”
Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo on whether he asked to switch onto Heat’s Jimmy Butler during late-game explosion: “To guard him? No, I didn’t. Why would you ask that? I’ll do whatever coach wants me to do.” pic.twitter.com/IFpR5pk1s1
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 1, 2020
It was an interesting show of emotion from a guy generally known to be pretty friendly and welcoming.
Antetokounmpo’s frustration was understandable. Although he recorded 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Bucks in Game 1, it was not a standout showing from him by any stretch of the imagination.
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 1, 2020
Where the 25-year-old really struggled, however, was the free throw line. He shot a mere four of twelve from the charity stripe – a historically bad number when it comes to postseason free throw shooting in the past decade.
After the game, Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer urged everyone to remain calm.
“He just has to stick with his routine, stick with what he’s been doing, continue to have a lot of confidence, continue to attack, continue to get to the free throw line,” he said.
“He’s going to make them. We have total faith in him.”
All in all, it is still only one game. The Bucks have lost Game 1s before only to come back and win the series with relative ease. But if what happened on Monday night happens again on Wednesday, all words of patience and tranquility will suddenly go out the window and panic will set in.
Antetokounmpo needs to get his groove back – and it needs to happen quick.