There have been game winning or tying opportunities in the last 2 games and with 2 missed shots the Bucks have 2 losses. Once again, the Bucks had the quarter that killed them; this time it was the first, where they were outscored 40-22 by Washington. The defense will need to tighten the noose if Milwaukee has deep playoff aspirations.
The Bucks were playing catch up from the opening quarter and they were able to eventually catch up with the Wizards. When push came to shove that game-leading basket wouldn’t drop last night. Said Antetokounmpo, ” We were getting open shots, we were getting good looks, but the ball didnt fall. I think we just did a great job playing through it.”
Giannis was asked if missing back to back game-winning shots hurts and he replied, ” It hurts. But I’m going to keep doing it. I’m not going to stop, I’m going to keep working on it. That’s what the teammates want.” Antetokounmpo got to a very good spot on the court for his final attempt, backing his defender in the post. But as he gave a shoulder fake, he briefly lost his footing and that threw his shot rhythm off, as he was fading away. Even he recognized he lost his balance slightly.
Milwaukee fans are used to this. Used to their team faltering down the stretch, used to sheer disappointment, hell there are many people in the state of Wisconsin that don’t even know how good this group is because of decades of mediocrity. Known to never keep key pieces to the entire puzzle by trading away top stock, its going to take some consistency to build the people’s trust. It is completely and solely up to them to get hot, to not have that bad quarter, because everything matters as we near to the final 20 games of the regular season.
Lets look at the bright side. Jabari Parker had 16 points at half time. For the Wizard, it was Brad Beal with 21 pts, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. Otto Porter Jr. added 21 points for Washington. Antetokounmpo’s final stat line reads 23 pts, 13 reb, 8 assists, 6 blocks, and 3 steals; that is literally stuffing the stat line and damn impressive. Also, the Bucks came back from a 20 point deficit and made the game competitive. Against the top tier teams, you must remain consistent for 48 minutes, otherwise you can kiss you chances goodbye.
Hopefully Giannis and the Bucks start embracing this challenge and start delivering. Part of making the game winning shot constantly is in knowing how it feels when it doesn’t drop, the disappointment of a player, a team, a city, hell the entire state. This is what drives the best to greatness and we all believe this resides in Antetokounmpo.