The Milwaukee Bucks suffered their fourth loss in five games when they fell to the Utah Jazz 132-116 on Monday night, and their star player understands how frustrated fans are with the team’s recent slide. Fans at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum booed the team in the first half as the Bucks fell behind Utah by as many as 33 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo told reporters after the game that he gets how the fans feel.
“I think we have great fans, but around the league, if you don’t play hard and don’t give everything for the team, there are times where you might get booed,” Antetokounmpo said. “Shit, I’d boo myself tonight too.”
The boos were the loudest after Utah’s Kelly Olynyk grabbed an offensive rebound and scored a layup to put the Jazz up by 29 midway through the second quarter. Antetokounmpo, who has spent all 11 of his NBA seasons with the Bucks, said it was the first time he remembers being booed by the home crowd.
Antetokounmpo notched a triple-double with 25 points,11 assists, and 10 rebounds in the loss. He’s averaged 34.6 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists over his previous five games. Over the weekend, Giannis spoke out on how Milwaukee has to improve in multiple areas after following a loss to the Houston Rockets.
“We have to be better. We have to play better. We have to defend better. We have to trust one another better. We have to be coached better. Every single thing, everybody has to be better. Everybody,” Antetokounmpo said. “It starts from the equipment manager. He has to wash our clothes better. The bench has to be better. The leaders of the team have to be more vocal. We have to make more shots. We have to defend better. We have to have better strategy.”
Those comments didn’t have much of an impact on Monday night.
The Bucks made one of the biggest splashes of the offseason when they shipped off Jrue Holiday in a deal that brought Damian Lillard to town. While they haven’t been as dominant as many expected, they’re firmly in the race to win the Eastern Conference with a 25-12 record. The recent slide, however, have them 3.5 games behind the Boston Celtics (28-8).
Milwaukee will host Boston on Thursday in hopes of securing a victory and evening the season series at 1-1.