LOS ANGELES – Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the best basketball players in the world. Still, he did not touch the ball during the last 35 seconds of regulation and some possessions during the Milwaukee Bucks 124-122 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at the Staples Center.
On a night in which the Bucks should celebrate the fact that they are about to win a playoff spot after winning the Golden State Warriors and the Lakers consecutively on consecutive nights, Friday's victory and the way It turned out how much work the organization had to do in the off-season – in finding the right coaching staff to help Antetokounmpo grow and create the right composition to facilitate this growth.
Antetokounmpo is too domineering for a player, even in one night, when he was 8-out of 20 on the field and struggling to find a rhythm early enough to ever stretch in games where he does not touch the ball. He did not even have a point, support or sales in the last 2:1
"A better job?" Antetokounmpo said. "I would not say that, I asked for the ball." [Eric] Bledsoe wanted to fire and then Khris [Middleton] wanted to fire, so I always trust my team mates and if they feel like they're in the In these moments of the game, I just trust them and hopefully they end well, we have victory, that's all that counts, and I trust my teammates that they'll find me when it matters most. " play 0:17
Eric Bledsoe scores a high of 37 points for the season after he swaps a 3-pointer and then strikes a temporary lamination in overtime against the Lakers.
Yes, Bledsoe scored 39 points, overtaking the Lakers themselves 11-10 in extra time, knocking down seven of his 12 three-point attempts. But there were way too many things too late, where Bledsoe did not want to go over there and there was little to no ball movement. More important, it's not Bledsoe's team – it's Antetokounmpo's. Antetokounmpo is the 23-year-old superstar and face of the franchise. He has paid to deliver in just those moments – and has several times this season. If he wants the ball, he should get it.
With the game on the line, Bledsoe kept the ball and raised a competitive 3-pointer that missed. Buck's Swingman Middleton gained the rebound and missed his own three-headed opponent. Bucks interim head coach Joe Prunty admitted that he could have taken a break, but decided against it, noting that he did not think Middleton's shot was bad, although he wished he had pushed the ball to the brim. Prunty became defensive when asked if Antetokounmpo should be more assertive in the games.