Giannis Antetokounmpo insists there is no additional pressure on the Bucks despite allowing the Raptors to tie their NBA Eastern Conference Finals series Tuesday.
The Bucks held a 2-0 lead after the opening games in Milwaukee, but Toronto — after a thrilling double-overtime win in Game 3 — leveled the series at 2-2 with a 120-102 victory at Scotiabank Arena.
Milwaukee trailed by 10 points at the half and was unable to overcome that deficit, with Antetokounmpo blaming a poor third quarter for the team’s inability to produce a turnaround.
“Obviously I think we started aggressive, in the third quarter we came out flat,” Antetokounmpo said. “It’s something we can get better at, something we can fix, it’s something that we’ve been doing all season.
“Usually in the third quarter we come out and we’re aggressive, making shots, moving the ball but we weren’t able to do it.
“But at the end of the day we’re not going to lose our confidence, hopefully when we get back home we can execute better in the third quarter and the whole game.”
“At the end of the day, we’re not going to lose our confidence… Hopefully, when we get home, we can execute better.” #FearTheDeer | @hulu pic.twitter.com/cJKmhFm6Vm
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 22, 2019
Performing in the third will be pivotal for the Bucks not only in this series but also if they do make it to the NBA Finals, where a Warriors team renowned for game-changing third-quarter runs awaits.
But Antetokounmpo doesn’t think there is any extra burden on the Bucks after Tuesday’s loss, adding: “There’s no pressure, obviously we’ve got to take care of [our] home [games], it’s our job, but I don’t think there’s pressure. We’ve just to go out there and have fun, play good basketball, be us and try to win.
“Just got to play with more energy, execute better, but our feeling is the same, doesn’t change, they did their job. They protected home and we’ve got to do our job now.
“Got to give them credit, obviously they are doing a great job defensively, helping one another, closing the drive lanes, using their hands in the passing lanes but we’ve got to execute better, got to take better care of the ball.
“We’ve been playing good basketball the whole year, if you lose one or two games it’s not the end of the world.”