Milwaukee Bucks: A Team Under Pressure After Loss in In Season Tournament Semifinal

Milwaukee Bucks are winning a lot of games: 15-7 and second in the East after their loss in a semifinal of the In Season Tournament that also counts for the regular season (like all the games in the tournament except the final). This is the case by the simple force of having two players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard. But the feelings are not the best, the team’s play leaves doubts, many if you think about the only objective for which this project has been built, winning the ring. The new coach Adrian Griffin, without experience as a head coach, has also already been questioned as director of a squad that, after the departure of Jrue Holiday in the Lillard operation, clearly lacks a guard with a defensive profile. And, of course, more depth in his rotation.

So the Bucks were one of the teams most likely to feel pressure in this first In Season Tournament, one of the teams that would have the worst taste in their mouth if there was a defeat that came, in the semifinals and against Tyrese Haliburton’s Pacers. A game in which the Wisconsin team started as favorites (and were ahead in the last quarter) despite the fact that the Pacers had already warned in the quarterfinals with their spectacular victory against the Boston Celtics.

To confirm that the Bucks are waiting to receive good news because the pressure is piling up in their locker room, there was a mess after the defeat. Bobby Portis, one of the veterans of the squad and one of the champions in 2021, faced Griffin, and the rest of his teammates “passionately,” according to journalist Chris Haynes (Bleacher Report), who has an excellent relationship , among others, with Damian Lillard.

One of the keys to the defeat was the rebound: the Pacers won that battle and, above all, captured 15 on offense from which they scored 27 points in the second chance. In the second half, 11 for 15 decisive points when the 2-3 zone that the Bucks established was collapsing the rhythm of Carlisle’s team. Griffin came to the locker room after the game very angry about those opportunities conceded, and Portis intervened excitedly to tell the coach that he had to “structure the attack at the end of the game,” always according to Haynes.

The power forward, who only played 18 minutes, also addressed the team and made it clear that the coach has to direct but that it is they, the players, who have to execute. Griffin took Portis’ words well and acknowledged that he could have done a better job of calling out attacking actions. Losses were another problem for the Bucks, and they have been a thermometer all season. When they control them, they dominate the games. If they don’t, they are much more vulnerable.

In the months he has led the team since succeeding Mike Budenholzer, Griffin has had strong arguments during games with Antetokounmpo, and has had to debate with his players how to defend since he arrived with a much more aggressive style than that of Antetokounmpo. previous coach, one that in the locker room was considered less appropriate, especially for a center with Brook Lopez’s characteristics. In addition, assistant Terry Stotts left before the start of the season after being signed as a luxury second. A veteran coach with a very good relationship with Lillard from his years in Portland, the divorce came after a clash in front of some players who were said to have a better relationship with Stotts than with a Griffin who did not handle that well.

Antetokounmpo also spoke after the game about the team’s tactical preparation: “We have incredible talent but we have to be better organized. Sometimes I get the feeling that we are not organized at all, absolutely nothing. We don’t know what we want to do on offense and we don’t return quickly in the defensive transition. The chemistry has to continue improving, we have new teammates who we are still getting to know. We have to know their strengths, their weaknesses… it’s not like previous years, when we were basically the same team. But sometimes it seems that we think that because we have very good players, the opponent is going to give us victory. And it’s not like that, we have to be better. We have to go out on the court and take it from our rival. We are very good individually, but if we don’t go out to compete, they won’t respect us.”

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2023-12-08 09:38:27
#Doubts #grow #Milwaukee #Bucks


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