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 stated 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 occasions over the course of a six-minute information convention. Jimmy Butler, particularly, left his imprint throughout the recreation 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 area. He additionally performed simply 35 minutes in a recreation that the Bucks desperately wanted to win, and began the fourth quarter on the bench. He stated he may have performed extra. His ankle, he stated, 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 stated, referring to the minutes he wished his finest 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 ready to reassemble the items in the bubble. In eight seeding video games, they went Three-5, then misplaced the first recreation of their first-round playoff collection with the Orlando Magic earlier than profitable 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, certainly one of the workforce’s veteran leaders, who led his workforce to boycott certainly one of their playoff video games in opposition to the Magic after the police taking pictures 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 deal with basketball with a lot else happening.

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