Milwaukee Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo admitted that he was upset over a missed free throw that sealed the win for the Boston Celtics against his team in the season opener. Antetokounmpo was having a big fourth quarter -- he scored 18 points in it -- but a missed free throw with 0.4 left to play in the game was the difference as the Celtics escaped with a narrow 122-121 win over the Bucks.
"I'm upset about it," Antetokounmpo said after the game, per ESPN. "But you can't change it. So it's done. "Hopefully when I'm in the same position, I can make the next one. That's the mentality you've got to have.
But obviously there's a little bit of a weight on your shoulders [in those situations] because, if you miss, that's it for your team. "I'm a winner, and I want to do whatever it takes for my team to win. But, you know, you learn from every situation that basketball puts you in."
Antetokounmpo draws positives from the negative situation
Antetokounmpo finished the game with a game-high 35 points and 13 rebounds but that wasn't enough for his team to get a win over their Eastern Conference rivals.
"It's fun, because you learn from it," Antetokounmpo said. "The more you're in situations like that, the more you can succeed. "I want to be in those moments. I want to [have the ball] down the stretch.
I want to shoot the last two free throws, I want to shoot the last shot, because if you think about it, if you do that a thousand times, some of the times it's going to go in. Some of the times, you're going to be the hero.
"And, some of the times, you're going to miss. But you learn from it." Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer also drew positives from the situation that costed Milwaukee a win. "I love that he's there, game on the line, opening night, going to the free throw line," Budenholzer said.
"He's been working on it. He knows how important it is. I think it's, again, of course we would love to win, you want to come out, you want to have success, but there's so many good things that happened, including Giannis going to the free throw line with the game on the line. You can't duplicate that in practice and he's just going to get better and better as we go forward."