MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo hasn’t slept nicely for the reason that Bucks Sport 6 loss to the Toronto Raptors. Neither has Khris Middleton or George Hill. There’s an excessive amount of to replay for his or her whirring minds to face nonetheless: The missed pictures. The dearth of late defensive hustle. The turnovers.
Milwaukee’s disappointment wasn’t instantly changed by reflection. When Middleton took his seat on the press convention podium lower than an hour after their season ended, he wasn’t fascinated by what they achieved. He wasn’t fascinated by the strides they made or the truth that that they had gotten out of the primary spherical of the playoffs for the primary time in 18 years.
“I did assume, ‘How did we get right here?’ as in, ‘How did we lose so quick?'” Middleton mentioned. “You replicate first on the sequence, then the sport, then the season.”
One after the other on Monday afternoon, the Bucks gamers walked over to the nook of their apply facility to ruminate on their season. A lot of them talked about being dissatisfied. Most of them addressed the Bucks’ free company choices this summer season.
The Bucks fell in need of the Finals look they so desperately wished — dropping to the Raptors within the Jap Convention Finals — however the reality stays that this was a particular season for a staff that gained solely 15 video games only a few years in the past.
Nonetheless, it is a staff that gained a league-best 60 video games. Antetokounmpo performed his option to being a favourite for this yr’s Most Beneficial Participant award. The bitterest second of Milwaukee’s season came about in Toronto’s Scotiabank Enviornment, nevertheless it was additionally the sector the place Middleton came upon he can be named an All Star for the primary time.
“It is powerful the best way we went out,” Middleton mentioned. “However I am nonetheless pleased with the season we had as a complete.”
The Bucks’ entrance workplace has choices to make this summer season. Three starters — Brogdon, Middleton and Brook Lopez — are all both unrestricted or restricted free brokers. They will even must resolve whether or not or to not carry again Nikola Mirotic and Hill.
Brogdon mentioned that he’ll wait and see with regards to his restricted free company this summer season. Hill, whose contract is simply partially assured, mentioned that cash has by no means been an important factor for him. Middleton, who’s a restricted free agent mentioned, “it is household first and match second.” Lopez mentioned he would “like to be again.” Antetokounmpo was adamant that he desires the roster to stay intact.
“I would like everybody again,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “Nice fricking staff — unselfish gamers that play basketball the appropriate manner. They’re winners. We had an awesome ambiance. We did not haven’t any — I need to be well mannered. I need to say the A-word — we did not haven’t any buttheads. Clearly, I would like everybody again. I’m going to let my teammates know that.”
Realistically, although, he is aware of that the possibilities of that taking place are slim. For now, the gamers will take a break. Hill mentioned he in all probability will not watch the Finals. Mike Budenholzer mentioned that it is not seemingly he’ll both. Antetokounmpo mentioned he’ll keep out of the gymnasium for every week, or perhaps two if he does not get stressed. Middleton mentioned he’ll take a month off. Brogdon mentioned his summer season aim is to trim down and be in higher form by the start of subsequent season.
For the primary time in a year-and-a-half, Antetokounmpo walked round Milwaukee on Monday. He noticed the buses that flashed “Go Bucks” on the facet and the skyways that had his face plastered on to them. The town, he realized, had really embraced this staff.
“I do not promise we’re gonna get 61 subsequent yr,” Antetokounmpo mentioned. “However we’re gonna put ourselves in a spot to be championship contending staff for a lot of extra years to return. And there is not a whole lot of groups that may say that within the league — there’s one, two, three, 4 groups that may say that — however we’re gonna put ourselves in that scenario for a lot of extra years to return.”