Through the first three quarters of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, Antetokounmpo scored just six points. He finished with 12 total. He missed two key free throws in the first overtime and fouled out less than a minute into the second overtime. He committed eight turnovers in all.nfl authentic jerseys cheap
The Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Toronto Raptors 118-112. The Bucks now lead the series 2-1. Antetokounmpo doesn’t accept performances like that. He is as allergic to losing as teammate Khris Middleton is to pine nuts.
“It is a culture we’ve built as a team,” Antetokounmpo told ESPN after the game. “We don’t like losing. We know we are two games away from the NBA Finals. We cannot jump steps. We have to do it a game at a time, a play at a time, a day at a time.”
A younger Antetokounmpo would not have taken a shower after a game like this. Rookie Antetokounmpo would’ve stormed out of the locker room — still dressed in his soiled, sweaty uniform — and returned to some gym somewhere to practice his missed shots.
But that was then.
Now, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer has made it clear to his star player that he must save his body. So, instead of replaying each mistake on the court after a poor performance, he does a mental replay. He stares at the stat sheet in silence, reliving the turnovers and air-balled 3-pointers. He skips going to the media room podium to speak after playoff losses — preferring to address reporters in front of his locker. Sunday was no exception.
Antetokounmpo gazed at the stat sheet, his phone and the wall for more than 15 minutes as his feet soaked in a tub of icy water.
“It is good — that means he is hungry,” Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe said. “If you don’t feel bad when you play bad, you don’t need to be playing this game.”nfl jerseys cheap authentic
The trouble for Antetokounmpo started early. In the first quarter, he committed two turnovers, he scored just two points and the Raptors jumped out to an early double-digit lead. It didn’t get prettier in the second quarter. Antetokounmpo coughed up the ball two more times, and at the half, the Bucks were down by seven. Every time Milwaukee cut into Toronto’s lead, the Raptors would go on a run. The Bucks couldn’t catch up.