Milwaukee — Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said he wasn’t worried about his team’s 0-5 pre-season performance, including a 107-97 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night, while acknowledging they have some areas to clean up before the regular season begins. next week.
“It doesn’t worry me,” Antetokounmpo said after Wednesday’s game. “What worries me are our habits and building good habits.
“Right now, we’re not loud enough. We’re not urgent enough. We’re not hungry enough. But at the end of the day, this is pre-season. We have the whole regular season to find ourselves.”
After Antetokounmpo spent the summer playing for Greece at Eurobasket, the Bucks wanted to be careful with his minutes during pre-season. Wednesday started in his second exhibition match only and scored 24 points in 6 of 21 shots against the Nets while collecting 14 rebounds in 32 minutes.
Antetokounmpo said after the game that he felt “a bit out of rhythm” after such limited action – he also played 21 minutes on October 6 against the Atlanta Hawks – during the show’s season, but still felt confident in the way he played. Footsteps himself during training camp.
“It won’t be easy,” he said. “I think sometimes your brain forgets and thinks it’s going to be easy. But I feel, personally, that you have to go out and set the tone and play hard. Build good habits, play for improvement, play with the team and as a team, we have to be hungry, we have to play Together, we have to defend better.”
Milwaukee had a funky pre-season schedule that includes a trip to Abu Dhabi last week for its first two NBA games in the country’s history against the Hawks. Back in the States, the Bucks closed their show schedule with back-to-back pre-season games against Chicago and Brooklyn on Tuesdays and Wednesdays this week.
Nearly all of the rotation players sat for Tuesday’s game in Chicago, and the Bucks were also short-handed in Wednesday’s game, missing Grayson Allen (illness), Pat Connaughton (calf) and Wesley Matthews, who missed the entire season with an ankle injury. Connaughton was knocked out for its second game in a row after kick-off on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, but Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer described the injury as minimal and said the team was being vigilant. Budenholzer added that Matthews is “close” to returning to court.
The Bucks have about a week before their season opener on October 20 against Philadelphia 76ers, in which they will already play without striker Khris Middleton, who began to resume basketball activities in practice this week for the first time since undergoing a wrist injury. Surgery in July. But Antetokounmpo still feels confident in his team’s ability to get back on track before next week’s game count starts.
“Men are frustrated, who knows when they’ll be back, so that’s what we have now,” said Antetokounmpo. “We still have a great squad, but we’re seven or eight days into the next game and when that’s really important. We have to hold our ground and start trying to build good habits.”