Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo criticizes Bucks’ effort after loss to Pacers

The Milwaukee Bucks fell short in the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament after losing to the red-hot Indiana Pacers in the semifinals.

After the loss, star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo underlined the Bucks’ need to play with a collective effort.

“I feel like sometimes we’re not organized at all. We don’t know what we try to get from our offense, or sometimes defensively we’re not sprinting back. We don’t shoot a lot of early 3s. At the end of the day, you have to protect the ball. You have to know where the ball is. We had a lot of situations today that they got a lot of dunks, open 3s, early 3s. We have to be better.

 

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“Nobody is going to give you nothing. Like sometimes I feel like we expect just because we have great players out there, that Tyrese Haliburton or Myles Turner or Aaron Nesmith, somebody is not just going to give us the game. Like, no. We have to be better. We have to go out there and take it. You know at the end of the day, I think we are great players, but if we don’t go out there and compete, they are not going to respect us. They played their best against us.”

Antetokounmpo put together a stellar performance with a game-high 37 points and 10 rebounds, which helped erase a double-digit deficit. The Bucks took the lead in the third quarter behind a 43-point period, but the Pacers answered with a 9-2 run in the fourth quarter to pull away.

 

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Milwaukee’s struggles defensively allowed the Pacers to shoot 49 percent from the floor along with score 72 points in the paint. Point guard Tyrese Haliburton led the charge with 27 points and 15 assists.

The Bucks are hoping to figure out their defensive identity, which will be crucial in their push toward an NBA title.

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