Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks Lose to Heat, Facing Elimination from Playoffs

“They’re a great team, and you know they’re going to play hard,” Antetokounmpo mentioned of the Heat. “They play hard for 48 minutes. For you to beat them, you have to match that. You cannot play hard for 36 minutes. You cannot play hard for 24 minutes. You have to play hard for 48 minutes to beat a team like that. We knew that coming into the series, and they played harder than us.”

The concept that the Heat had “played harder” than the Bucks was a theme for Antetokounmpo: He talked about it 16 instances over the course of a six-minute information convention. Jimmy Butler, specifically, left his imprint throughout the sport for Miami, ending with 30 factors, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

Antetokounmpo collected 21 factors, 16 rebounds and 9 assists however shot 7 of 21 from the subject. He additionally performed simply 35 minutes in a sport that the Bucks desperately wanted to win, and began the fourth quarter on the bench. He mentioned he may have performed extra. His ankle, he mentioned, was “great.” Budenholzer indicated that he had no regrets about limiting Antetokounmpo’s taking part in time.

“If you’re going as hard as these guys are in a playoff game — 35, 36 — I think that’s pushing the ceiling,” Budenholzer mentioned, referring to the minutes he wished his greatest gamers to provide.

When the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Bucks had been 53-12 and trying primed for a title run. But they haven’t been in a position to reassemble the items in the bubble. In eight seeding video games, they went Three-5, then misplaced the first sport of their first-round playoff collection with the Orlando Magic earlier than successful the subsequent 4.

At the identical time, the Bucks have been at the heart of assorted tensions and challenges for gamers right here. It was Hill, one in all the workforce’s veteran leaders, who led his workforce to boycott one in all their playoff video games towards the Magic after the police capturing of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, in Kenosha, Wis. It led to a wave of disruptions and protests throughout a number of sports activities leagues.

On Friday, Hill was requested whether or not the workforce was struggling to give attention to basketball with a lot else occurring.

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