Game 1 Postgame Quotes - NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Hawks vs. Bucks

Atlanta Hawks 116, Milwaukee Bucks 113

Following the Bucks 116-113 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Eastern Conference Finals Game 1, the Bucks spoke with members of the media.

Khris Middleton

Q: You're trying to go quick, 29 seconds, get that baseline drive and you find Pat. I know you're probably okay with execution there but obviously doesn't go your way. How do you keep Pat up and keep him confident going forward?

KHRIS MIDDLETON: I've seen him knock that down. He's made good shots all season long. Didn't go his way tonight or our way tonight. It's a great shot by Pat. Just didn't go in.

Q: For you offensively, it looked like you were getting to the spots that you wanted, is that what it felt like or what are you thinking going into Game 2?

KHRIS MIDDLETON: Just got to be better. It's as simple as that. Get into my spots, play-making, everything. Just got to be better.

Q: Do you feel like you guys let Trae get too comfortable in the first half?

KHRIS MIDDLETON: I think he's in his comfort zone. Try to change things up on him a little bit in the second half and I think it worked some, but he's a hell of a player. He made some tough shots. His teammates get him the ball, but we have to do a better job containing him.

Q: Giannis said the most frustrating part was giving up offensive rebounds. Was that the most frustrating for you?

KHRIS MIDDLETON: I'd say so. I mean, in the fourth quarter to end the game, they got a couple on one possession and made a big three, and Capela got another one to take the lead. When we box out to get the rebounds, it's a different game for sure.

Q: Giving up 48 points to a player in consecutive games, what do you make of that and how do you feel about it?

KHRIS MIDDLETON: I mean, definitely don't want to have somebody go 48, 50-plus, whatever. Just got to be better containing guys. I think a little bit of playing into their hands a little bit, they are getting comfortable getting to their spots and they get going. Just got to do a better job, like I said, containing those guys.

Q: The last shot, how did that look to you? Did it look good?

KHRIS MIDDLETON: Got a good look off of it. It was on line. Just short. All my shots were short tonight. I have to make that adjustment. I've got to be better. Like I said, I've got to see where my misses are going or the types of shots I'm getting and adjusting my game, too.

Q: It's been a decent stretch of you guys not making as many threes as you're used to. Is there a way to get out of that without the practice time?

KHRIS MIDDLETON: We're still pretty much playing every other day or two days in between. Just got to be better, shoot the ball better for sure. Looking at it right now, they were 8-for-32 [from three-point range], we were 8-for-36. We make a couple threes and be ourselves, it's a different ballgame. Could be the same with them; same thing they are saying, also.

But I really don't think it was the offensive side for us. I think it was more the defense.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Q: As you guys are going down the stretch late, Pat gets a great look, misses it. What's your message to him and I know execution-wise, it's an open three but how do you keep him high and get him through that?

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: It was a great look. Great look. Did not fall. Did not go our way. But at the end of the day, execution-wise, it was great. He was wide open. He had made a bunch of shots like that before. So make or miss, we live with that.

So yeah, got to keep his head high, he's going to have a lot of opportunities to make that shot again in this series. So we believe in him and we live with the shot.

Q: What did you like about the middle pick-and-roll with Jrue? You get a couple lobs late on that. What were you seeing?

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I just see Clint Capela playing back and just having Jrue coming out of the pick-and-roll keeps him guessing and now you've got me rolling, Jrue coming with the ball for the jump shot, Khris wide open.

Q: Trying to turn Trae into a floater shooter, what did you like about that? I know you're getting more deep shots but then you give up three or four offensive rebounds. Is that the trade-off?

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: We have to do a better job rebounding, but at the end of the day, I feel like he is going to his floater and that's just like [his] comfort zone, we just have to make it as tough as possible for him and make him play a lot of one-on-one. He's a great player. He's going to score, and he has the ball a lot in his hands. We have to make it as tough as possible. We have to be physical with him. We have to send him to the free throw line. We just have to make it from the first minute to the last minute, tough.

Q: Last series, you guys and P.J. [Tucker] talked about when Kevin [Durant] got going, the frustrating part was when the teammates picked it up. Was it the lobs that happened late, and other guys getting involved in the fourth quarter run? Was that the frustrating part?

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: Who was frustrating?

Q: Trae getting the lobs to John [Collins], to Clint to get the rest of the team going, was that more frustrating as a defense than Trae getting the floater?

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: Just got to do a better job. Unfortunately, we lost the game but that specific part, we just have to do a better job. The guy from -- the mid-guy, low man guy, got to come help. Got to show his body, you know, but I think the most frustrating part about this game is the offensive rebounds. Like they got three offensive rebounds back-to-back and they got a three out of it and they got the game-winning bucket out of it, Clint Capela. I think that's the most frustrating part.

But hopefully we can make an adjustment, make it tough for Trae Young, make it tough for those guys to not get easy looks for the lobs and hopefully we can put ourselves in a position to win Game 2.

Q: Is the offensive rebounding difficult to a degree when it is 28 feet, 30-foot shots?

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: Yeah, it's harder because the ball bounces long. So it makes it a lot harder for us to rebound and especially when you switch, when Jrue gets out there, when I'm out there guarding Trae Young and he shoots over us and now Clint -- from the corner and so it makes it a lot harder.

But at the end of the day, you have to find a way to get it done. We're going to watch the tape tomorrow. Make some adjustments and come back in Game 2 and put ourselves in a position to win the game hopefully.

Q. When you're talking about offensive rebounding, is it a schematic adjustment or effort?

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: It's effort. Effort. You've got to compete. You've got to put your body on the line. You've got to box out. You've got to believe in your physicality. It's more effort.

Q: And secondly, Trae was just asked about the shimmy before he hit that three and he said he had time -- do you as someone who takes a lot of pride in your game, do you take that personally?

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: He's just having fun. He's enjoying the game. Obviously I wouldn't want him to make the shot. But he's having fun. He's enjoying the game. We're going to do the same as a team. We are going to have fun and enjoy the game and there's going to be times when Jrue might see me or whatever the case may be, or I might -- it's just part of the game. So can't take that personally.

Q: Is it easier to be down 1-0 in a playoff series and be okay? You guys went through such a rough series last series and came through it. Just wondering if you feel better or more comfortable down 1-0 knowing it's a long series than maybe in the past?

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: No, it's not easy. It never gets easy. You don't want to lose. You don't want to be down. But at the end of the day as I said, you can't get too high. You can't get too low. You've got to come out, Game 2, got to compete and wish for the best.

But at the end of the day, it didn't get easy. Doesn't matter if we were down 2-0 in Brooklyn. That was a different series. That doesn't mean we might be down one or two and get back. Might be a totally different case. So never gets easy. At the end of the day, we've got to come, as I said, we've got to do our job. We've got to do better.

Q: They went on a 9-0 run to get up seven with four-plus minutes left in the game. What was the difference this time around?

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: They did a good job executing. They did a good job executing, got to the free throw line, got to offensive rebounds. We got some good looks that didn't go in.

Jrue Holiday

Q: Starting with Trae, no surprises with what he can do and what you thought he could do. How did you guys see him sort of affect the game early as his teammates were, I don't want to say slow getting involved but he carried their offense for the better part of three quarters.

JRUE HOLIDAY: I just think him getting to the paint and getting those floaters, and he had it going early. I think we just tried to make him score, no lobs over top which can be difficult because of how crafty he is. He had it going but we were still in a pretty good position.

Q: With perimeter shooting you can get hot and get in a rhythm and feel good about that. Can that happen with a floater? Do you think changing your defense on that should have happened earlier to not get him get going?

JRUE HOLIDAY: Maybe. Maybe. I still think at the end of the game we had our chances. There were a couple rebounds we needed to get, especially where they had two or three in a row and somebody got a layup or a three or something like that. So I mean, maybe. But I still feel like down the stretch we still had a chance to win.

Q: Is there something that you feel like you can do better against them?

JRUE HOLIDAY: Me, I think be more aggressive. Sometimes going against somebody like Trae who is a bit lighter, who initiates the contact and gets those calls, is hard to guard, you know what I mean. But I got six fouls. I got to play smarter. I think I can be more aggressive. I started to be more aggressive in the second half and trying to speed him up a little bit and maybe get him out of his comfort zone but I've got to do that from the beginning.

Q: When he gets his floater going, you mentioned a couple lobs, felt like they got a couple lobs I think in the third quarter. What is the discipline required there to contain him?

JRUE HOLIDAY: It is hard. It's just that, especially when he's making his floaters, especially as a big and me as a guard. It seems like everything is going to hell. But sometimes you've got to stick with the game plan. We were in a good position at the end of the game but I do feel like for me, I can be more aggressive for 48 minutes.

Q. I feel like we're 12 games into the postseason and you guys haven't shot the ball that well. Is there anything that's contributing to that? Do you have any theories on what it might be about?

JRUE HOLIDAY: No, man, it's a long season. It's a long season. And it's a different season. It's a weird year. I think for all of us to be clicking at the same time is going to take time and we know that this is ups and downs and a roller coaster, especially these last couple of years. I think we'll figure it out. We've done it before.

Q: You knew it was going to be a challenging series. What are your thoughts on what took place tonight?

JRUE HOLIDAY: I think they did a good job of executing the game plan. I think we did, too, for the most part. I felt like we need to rebound a lot better, down the stretch and that includes myself. I let Capela get in front of me and he got the layup. But for the most part it was two teams battling and trying to figure things out and it ended up being a good game.

Q: How tough is the matchup against Trae Young?

JRUE HOLIDAY: He's a great young player. Stepping over half court, he's a threat from anywhere on the floor. We have to find ways to be able to rush h

Mike Budenholzer

Q. Can you take us through the ATO late, was that the shot you were after and any thoughts to having a better shooter?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: You know, Khris got the ball kind of mid-post and kicked it to Pat. There's a little bit of a differential and if you score you need to get a stop. So I have a ton of confidence in Pat. Loved the shot. I think we were going to go quick and Khris got a great penetration and made a good decision and then you've got to go play defense. We make and then you've got to get a stop. So I love the pass, I love the shot.

Q. You were in the drop [coverage] for most of the night and then you go small and switched some with Giannis late. Do you think that can be successful for you going forward?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: We talked about changing up the looks. I think we probably got to do more. But I think he got to the free throw line, Young got to the free throw line second half. I think eight free throws and I think maybe we got a little bit better defensively. But we're going to have to get a lot better going into Game 2 and I think throwing Young different looks is going to be important.

Q. Specifically what was the thought process with playing Jeff Teague tonight?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: I think he's played against both Young and [Lou] Williams a lot and I think this is a series that he can help us. Bobby [Portis] gave us a great boost. Both those guys along with Bryn [Forbes] off the bench are going to be important.

Q. Going small, obviously a trade off there is the size. The offensive rebounding from Capela, Collins, late, in those instances, I know those are hustle plays but is that the hard part of making the trade-off?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: We knew those guys go to the offensive board hard. They had a couple of timely ones. I think the multiple possessions and Collins hits the corner three, and I think we'll look at the film. I think we've got to rebound better all collectively whether we're big or small or whoever is out there, the boards are going to be important.

Q. The few days coming into this, talk about the team being sort of ready for this, no emotional load, all that kind of thing, as Trae Young was getting going, this looked like their previous two Game 1s on the road. How did you sense that going? Was it Trae was just being Trae or was your team maybe not matching that effort or that intangible type of thing?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: No, I mean, I think the guys, there was some good stretches. There were times in the first half where I thought we could maybe bust it open and they stayed and it flipped. So I think the effort, the intensity is there. Young is a great player. He had a great night. Give him credit. We feel like we can play better. I'm sure they are going to think they can play better. We have to get ready for Game 2 and get better.

Q. What about this matchup makes it a well suited for Jrue Holiday?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: It's a great effort by Jrue. Got some good looks and kick-out threes. We need everybody to play well. Just the matchups, hopefully he can continue to get to those spots and get those shots against this team.

Q. That third quarter the Hawks made a run, what did you see that led to that deficit?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: We have to look at the film, but like I said, the free throws I thought hurt us. Most of the game the ball was in Young's hands and they had some floaters but they had a couple lob dunks and Capela scored a little bit and offensively didn't seem like we moved quite as well but I think there's some opportunities that we’d take again, were good shots and good looks and feel like we're going to play better going into Game 2.

Q. You had 70 points in the paint -- getting a lot of stuff going.

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: There was some good stuff particularly from Jrue and Giannis, two-man game. We need everybody to participate and I think everybody will just continue to get better going into the second game.

Q. There were a handful of plays late where you did not elect to use a challenge? What was that process there? I know there were a handful that maybe you could have, I guess, or maybe not. Based on what you saw.

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: A couple of them, the replay board is pretty quick and I thought that they were decent calls or the correct call, and it was not worth not having it at the end of the game. The out-of-bounds was a big one at 3:01. So referees can't go to the review until 2:00. That's probably the one that stands out to me. The others I think were good calls.

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