BOSTON – Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored just ten shots on Tuesday in Game 5 against the Boston Celtics, but on Thursday he swore aggressively at Game 6 in Milwaukee.
"It's about me," Antetokounmpo said. "Like I said, I had open shots, but they were not my shots, so I did not feel comfortable taking them, I think my teammates found me great, but the next game, Game 6, Me must become more aggressive, make more games because my teammates absolutely need me. "
The Bucks leave Thursday 3-2 in the series and know that they have to do better to find more ways for Antetokounmpo to succeed.
"We all have to take responsibility for finding different positions to put him in," said Bucks interim head coach Joe Prunty. "I think Giannis is one of the most aggressive drivers in the game trying to get downhill, I think he's getting pretty strong, what I'm worried about [is] is how much they're pushing, I want him to keep." Whatever the game may be, but I would say that it all depends on us, and I need to help him find better shot opportunities. We have to make sure he gets the ball, but I want to make sure that we have a good ball possession every time. We have several guys who are capable of knocking down the shots. I do not want it to "Hey, we have to do that because Giannis."
Antetokounmpo came in just 5:10 from the field, and the 10 field goal attempts were the fourth-best bucks. His two total drives and one shot in the crossover were the least he had in any game in the series, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He had 21 help options compared to an average of nine in games 1-4.
"I feel like the shots I had, the moments in the game, that they were quality footage, so I took them," said Antetokounmpo. "I had to be more aggressive in Game 6. I was still trying to make games, trying to get my teammates in the right place, I just wanted to be aggressive."
"Giannis is a Heckuva player," Stevens said. "You will not be perfect against him, you will not stop him at all costs, he's making games for other people, he's very selfless if he's not the one who counts, but we just felt the way we needed. " a bit more ball pressure overall, and that was the decision to get smaller. Semi is a guy who has been a versatile defender for us all year, and that's a big job – asking a guy to guard Giannis all night. "
Stevens' message to Ojeleye was pretty simple.
" Just try to make Giannis a top scorer, "said Ojeleye," he's a tough player and a tough matchup for many guys. I'm just trying to make it as hard as possible. He has done many hard hits. … he's a great player and I just tried to stay ahead and let him hit him hard – try to be physical. "
Antetokounmpo confirmed the defense of the Celtics and the associated problems throughout the night, but he remained steadfast in the feeling that it was up to him to make the right changes in Game 6.
" Me will not take anything away from any player, "said Antetokounmpo." I could easily say it was mine. I did not feel it – it was not just Semi Ojeleye, it was everyone who guarded me. But he did a great job. He played hard. He has been fighting for his team and hopefully. "He can do the same in Game 6."
ESPN's Chris Forsberg has contributed to this review.