Unhappy Giannis Antetokounmpo Reveals What Must Happen In Game 2
An unhappy Giannis Antetokounmpo revealed what must happen in Game 2 of the Milwaukee Bucks’ first round series against the Orlando Magic in order to prevent another embarrassing loss.
Specifically, he explained what he must do.
“Play harder,” Antetokounmpo said.
“Be more vocal. Lead by example. At the end of the day, I can’t change who I am and what I do. And what I do, as I said early is that I get on the court and do whatever it takes to win.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo on his approach to leadership after being down 0-1: “Play harder. Be more vocal. Lead by example. At the end of the day, I can’t change who I am and what I do. And what I do, as I said early is that I get on the court and do whatever it takes to win.”
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) August 18, 2020
As far as the team goes, Antetokounmpo thinks everyone just needs to play harder.
“There’s no magic wand to point and things are going to change,” he said.
“You’ve got to come out, play hard, play even harder, play together and have fun.”
The Bucks fell to the Magic in a 122-110 blowout on Tuesday. It was the third-worst playoff upset in 20 years.
Antetokounmpo finished with 31 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists – but those numbers don’t tell the whole story. When it mattered most, in nine fourth quarter minutes, he shot 0-of-3, scored a single point off a made free throw, turned the ball over and committed two of his five total fouls.
The fourth quarter of postseason outings is a time when legends are made, and Antetokounmpo failed to deliver yesterday.
Milwaukee has now lost five playoff games in a row since going up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals last year.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Not The Only Reason Bucks Lost
To be fair, responsibility for Game 1 does not solely fall at Antetokounmpo’s feet.
Nikola Vucevic went off on Tuesday, scoring 35 points on 15-of-24 shooting and grabbing 14 rebounds. Terrence Ross and Gary Clark chipped in 18 points and 15 points, respectively.
D.J. Augustin scored 11 points and dished out 11 assists in the winning effort.
The defeat was stunning enough for Bucks guard George Hill to admit that the team needs to do some “soul searching.”
“Everyone was too comfortable out there,” he also observed.
Hill admitted that playing in the NBA Bubble also likely had an impact on Milwaukee’s performance.
“It’s tough,” he revealed.
“You’re in your room all day. You don’t have your family here. “I think all year we’ve been thriving off our home fans, so we don’t have those guys behind us.
“It’s basically in a gym just playing open gym, so it’s new to us. We haven’t figured it out yet, but when you get hit in the mouth today, you’ve got to figure it out to get back up and throw that next punch.”
For what is worth, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer isn’t buying the notion that a lack of fans contributed to his team’s spotty performance.
“It’s always great to play in front of your fans and feed off their energy a little bit,” he said.
“But we’ve all been down here in the bubble for a while so I think everybody should understand how to sustain a run and prevent runs.”
At the end of the day, Game 1 was just that – one game. So long as the Bucks collect themselves and come back strong in the next outing on Thursday, everything will be fine. However, if Orlando somehow repeats its Tuesday morning showing and steals another game from Milwaukee, expect things to get very testy very quickly in the locker room.