“They’re a great team, and you know they’re going to play hard,” Antetokounmpo mentioned of the Heat. “They play hard for 48 minutes. For you to beat them, you have to match that. You cannot play hard for 36 minutes. You cannot play hard for 24 minutes. You have to play hard for 48 minutes to beat a team like that. We knew that coming into the series, and they played harder than us.”
Here’s what’s occurring as the world of sports activities slowly comes again to life:
The concept that the Heat had “played harder” than the Bucks was a theme for Antetokounmpo: He talked about it 16 occasions over the course of a six-minute information convention. Jimmy Butler, specifically, left his imprint throughout the recreation for Miami, ending with 30 factors, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Antetokounmpo collected 21 factors, 16 rebounds and 9 assists however shot 7 of 21 from the subject. He additionally performed simply 35 minutes in a recreation that the Bucks desperately wanted to win, and began the fourth quarter on the bench. He mentioned he might have performed an extra. His ankle, he mentioned, was “great.” Budenholzer indicated that he had no regrets about limiting Antetokounmpo’s taking part in time.
“If you’re going as hard as these guys are in a playoff game — 35, 36 — I think that’s pushing the ceiling,” Budenholzer mentioned, referring to the minutes he wished his greatest gamers to provide.
When the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Bucks had been 53-12 and wanting to be primed for a title run. But they haven’t been ready to reassemble the items in the bubble. In eight seeding video games, they went 3-5, then misplaced the first recreation of their first-round playoff sequence with the Orlando Magic earlier than profitable the subsequent 4.
At the similar time, the Bucks have been at the heart of varied tensions and challenges for gamers right here. It was Hill, considered one of the crew’s veteran leaders, who led his crew to boycott considered one of their playoff video games in opposition to the Magic after the police capturing of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, in Kenosha, Wis. It led to a wave of disruptions and protests throughout a number of sports activities leagues.
On Friday, Hill was requested whether or not the crew was struggling to concentrate on basketball with a lot else happening.