Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has preached focus and patience ahead of Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 123-119 to take a 3-2 lead in the series and give themselves a chance to close out the series on their home floor in Game 6.
"It's hard, man," Antetokounmpo said with a smile after Monday's practice at Fiserv Forum, per ESPN. "It's hard. Because you work so hard to be in that moment, which is tomorrow. It's hard not to get ahead of yourself.
"But this is the time that you got to be the most disciplined. That's what I'm going to try to do. I'm going to try to be as disciplined as possible. Don't get too excited. Don't get too pumped up for the game.
None of that. I can't play the game right now ... right now, there's nothing I can do about that. So I don't even try to think about that. But it's very hard not to. Sometimes you sleep and you're dreaming about the game.
"But this is the time that we have to be disciplined individually ... we got to be disciplined and we cannot worry about that. We cannot worry about having plans of celebrating. None of that, until it's done. And that is the mindset I'm going to have until tomorrow."
Antetokounmpo suggests patience is the key
In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Bucks recovered from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Brooklyn Nets. The Bucks were also down 2-0 to the Suns after the opening two games but then won the following three games.
"We didn't get too high, we didn't get too low," Antetokounmpo said. "We were down 0-2 to Brooklyn. Came back. We did our job. We're down right now. We came back, did our job. We were down against Atlanta [in the conference finals].
Came back, did our job. We were up against Miami. Went there, did our job. "We kept focusing, building good habits. I think it comes from, as I said, Coach [Mike Budenholzer], Khris [Middleton], Jrue [Holiday], me, to have that mentality.
And then you pass down to the whole team. So we did a really good job. "Now, is it going to end up well in the championship? Who knows. But no matter how it ends up, I'm really proud of this team. Really proud of all the work we have put in."