Giannis Antetokounmpo took the full extent of the blame for his team’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas Day, as the Milwaukee Bucks had their zone defense clobbered by a barrage of 3-pointers in a 121-109 loss.
Meanwhile, The Greek Freak, who was praised for his improved shooting in a blockbuster matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers last week, shot 0-for-7 from deep and 8-of-27 from the floor — his worst line in terms of efficiency this season. He knows it was just one of those nights:
“It was all on me,” Antetokounmpo said after a 121-109 loss to the Sixers, according to Michael Lee of The Athletic. “There are going to be some nights where you don’t make shots, but you’ve got to keep making plays, keep believing in yourself. You cannot back down and don’t be who you are.”
Antetokounmpo was shooting a stellar (for him) 34.2% entering Wednesday’s game against the Sixers, but failed to make a single three in a game for the first time since Nov. 4 — one of five occasions this season.
However, the 6-foot-11 star has made a commendable effort to shoot 3s more often, no matter the outcome — already a vast improvement over previous seasons, where he’d limit himself to his comfort zone.
The Bucks were down by as many as 30 points, but as they did in a close loss to the Dallas Mavericks last week, closed the deficit late in the fourth, fighting to get back into the game. Giannis thinks this loss will be good for them:
“I feel like in life you’re always in the right moment at the right time. God put you in the situation you go through every day,” said Antetokounmpo. “I think we had to go through this. We had to be down 30. We had to have our character tested … because as I’ve said in the past, the only way you get better is when you face adversity. I feel like our team is going to be better … This is good. I like it. Obviously, I don’t like losing, but I think sometimes when you lose this way you get better as a team.”
The Bucks still lead the league with a studly 27-5 record, and Antetokounmpo will get the chance to redeem himself from the perimeter with 50 games still left to be played.
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