As the Milwaukee Bucks walked off the floor at Fiserv Forum on Wednesday night in the aftermath of a 116-91 blowout win over the Boston Celtics, one that sealed a 4-1 series win in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Kristen Ledlow of TNT asked Giannis Antetokounmpo about something he said following Game 1. The Bucks lost that game, then ripped off four wins in a row to secure a spot in the next round.
The subject of the question was “Bucks basketball,” a phrase Antetokounmpo said was missing following the loss. It’s easy to reflect on failures after a triumph, so the favorite to be named league MVP looked back on what he thought was lacking after the team was punched in the mouth four games ago.
“I think our mindset changed,” Antetokounmpo said. “I think in the first game, we weren’t focused enough, we weren’t ourselves. I think in the next four games, we came out, we came with a different approach, a different mindset, a killer mindset, and we were able to win these four games.”
Game 1 was a bit embarrassing for Milwaukee. After breezing through their first round series against the Detroit Pistons, a sweep in which their average margin of victory was a bit under 24 points per game, the Bucks faced a bit of adversity for the first time all postseason. The Celtics came out, punched them in the mouth, won by 22 points, and some idiot wrote this: “Even if Milwaukee makes up for the apparent dearth of energy that existed on Sunday afternoon, that might not matter if the Boston team we’ve been waiting to see all year shows up three more times this series.”