With Damian Lillard out for the second consecutive game due to a lingering calf injury, the Milwaukee Bucks relied on Giannis Antetokounmpo to do the heavy lifting on Friday against the Orlando Magic. Unfortunately for the Bucks, for the second time in three days, Antetokounmpo’s monster effort just wasn’t enough to lead his team to victory.
The Magic secured what turned out to be a relatively easy win at home, slapping the Bucks with their fifth loss of the season, 112-97.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Calls Out Milwaukee Bucks’ Defense
Giannis did not mince words after the game. The Bucks talisman had no issue calling out his team’s effort against the Magic — or rather, the apparent lack thereof.
Defense was a major issue for Milwaukee yet again, allowing their opponents to outscore them by 16 points in the opening half alone. This was a recipe for disaster for the Bucks and true enough, the Magic never looked back.
“Defensively, man, like, I feel like we got to take it up a notch,” Antetokounmpo said, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “We have to take it up a notch. This is not who we are. This is not the Milwaukee Bucks. We gotta guard people. Like 65 points (in the first half) is too much.”
I see no lies here.
Giannis Isn’t Pointing Fingers
Despite his harsh criticism, however, Giannis is taking full responsibility for his team’s shortcomings. As the Bucks talisman, the former back-to-back MVP knows that the impetus must come from him:
“And it starts from me. It starts from the leader of the team. I gotta be better,” he said.
“But again, it’s not one person (that) can do it alone. Defensively, we gotta show more, make our paint look more crowded, make the lanes look more crowded, don’t allow guys to get comfortable and guys to be able to get downhill.”
As much as Antetokounmpo would like to take the blame, it’s also true that he needs a whole lot of help from his teammates. As he said, he can’t do it all by himself.
The rest of the squad has to step up, and they have to do it now.
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