MILWAUKEE – The Bucks could not have hoped for a better debut in their new home. Giannis Antetokounmpo stopped where he left off last season, coach Mike Budenholzer's offensive showed a firepower the team missed last year, and Milwaukee blew visiting Indiana Pacers 1
Coming In season, the Eastern Conference generally saw three teams in their top tier: the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers. After a 2-0 start, Milwaukee announces that it is also a force to be reckoned with.
"New arena, new practice facility, new coach," said Antetokounmpo after the 118-101 victory over the Pacers. "This is the right time to be a buck."
Despite the fact that the Brewers were less than three miles away in a home game, Milwaukee's sports fans filled the new $ 524 million arena. Bucks legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver were both among the 17,341 in attendance.
Milwaukee has long been waiting for the Bucks to break through: the license has won 50 games in one season or advanced in the playoffs since 2000-01. The last season ended with a playoff loss in the first round against a Celtics team that lacked the all-stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving.
Milwaukee can not make up for the loss of Game 7 until April, three of the next six games will hit Celtics, Raptors and 76ers, so it will not be long before their place in the East pecking order becomes clear.
"I think we can beat every team every night," said Antetokounmpo. "We have a very, very good opportunity to do good things this year, so we can hopefully work hard, go back and work on our craft and be able to run and fight every night."
Giannis Antetokounmpo pulls in the rebound, takes the ball to the other end and slams it home.
Budenholzer, who replaced interim coach Joe Prunty in the offseason after Prunty replaced Jason Kidd in the middle of the 2017/18 season, put an emphasis on distance and 3-point shooting, giving the Bucks a different look than that, what they showed last season.
"We are only concerned about how we compete each day, how are we getting better every day," he said. "If we do all these things then we will be where we should be and hopefully with the best squadrons in the East and the NBA.
" We feel one of the best teams in the East and compete with everyone, "he continued. All that matters is how we play. I do not think we're going out there to testify or show that we did not say something. "
On Friday Antetokounmpo finished with 26 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists 22 points and 11 rebounds at half time, the second time in his career that he had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the first half ESPN Stats & Information, as he went 0 for 7 from beyond the arc, he vowed to continue shooting.
"It's going up," said Antetokounmpo. "I'm not stopping. I worked hard this summer. I do not stop.
Antetokounmpo was shy earlier in his career, but this newly found self-confidence reflects Milwaukee's maturity.
"We're a complete team," said Khris Middleton, who scored 23 points on Friday night. "Giannis is a hellish player. He can carry a team, but to be complete, we need every guy in this locker room. And so far they have shown that they can ascend when their number is called. "