MILWAUKEE — Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo mentioned he wasn’t nervous about his group’s 0-5 preseason efficiency, together with a 107-97 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday evening, whilst acknowledging they have got some spaces to blank up prior to the common season starts subsequent week.
“It doesn’t worry me,” Antetokounmpo mentioned after Wednesday’s recreation. “What worries me is our habits and building good habits.
“Right now, we aren’t vocal sufficient. We’re now not pressing sufficient. We’re now not hungry sufficient. But on the finish of the day, it is the preseason. We have the entire common season to in finding ourselves.”
After Antetokounmpo spent the summer playing for the Greek national team at Eurobasket, the Bucks wanted to be cautious with his minutes during the preseason. He started Wednesday for just his second exhibition game and scored 24 points on 6-of-21 shooting against the Nets while grabbing 14 rebounds in 32 minutes.
Antetokounmpo said after the game that he felt “slightly bit out of rhythm” after such limited action — he also played 21 minutes on Oct. 6 against the Atlanta Hawks — during the exhibition season, but still felt confident in the way he paced himself during training camp.
“It’s now not going to be simple,” he said. “I believe infrequently your thoughts forgets and thinks it is going to be simple. But I believe like, me for my part, you have got to pop out and set the tone, play laborious. Build good habits, play to beef up, play for the group. And as a group, we’ve to be hungry, we’ve got were given to play in combination, we’ve to protect higher.”
Milwaukee had an unorthodox preseason schedule featuring a trip to Abu Dhabi last week for the first two NBA games in the country’s history against the Hawks. Upon returning to the states, the Bucks closed out their exhibition schedule with a preseason back-to-back against Chicago and Brooklyn on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
Nearly all of their rotation players sat out Tuesday’s game in Chicago, and the Bucks were also short-handed for Wednesday’s game, missing Grayson Allen (sickness), Pat Connaughton (calf) and Wesley Matthews, who missed the entire preseason with an ankle injury. Connaughton sat out his second straight game after starting Saturday in Abu Dhabi, but Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer called the injury minimal and said the team was being cautious. Budenholzer added that Matthews was “getting shut” to a return to the court.
The Bucks have about a week to go before their season opener on Oct. 20 against the Philadelphia 76ers, for which they will already be playing without forward Khris Middleton, who started to resume basketball activities in practice this week for the first time since undergoing wrist surgery in July. But Antetokounmpo still felt confident in his team’s ability to get back on track before the games begin to count next week.
“Guys are down, who is aware of when they are going to get again, so that is who we’ve at the moment,” Antetokounmpo said. “We nonetheless have an ideal group, however we are seven or 8 days from the following recreation and when it in reality counts. We’ve were given to buckle down and get started attempting to construct good habits.”