Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are determined to replicate last season’s success, and prove to the rest of the NBA that winning 60 regular season games wasn’t a fluke.
Antetokounmpo, 24, says he will play extremely hard in Milwaukee’s first preseason game Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz.
The reigning MVP adds that his squad was a “great team and we got better.”
“I don’t try to experiment with anything,” Antetokounmpo said of his approach to the preseason. “I just try to go as hard as I can, try to get in shape because being in practice shape and being in game shape is totally two different things.
“What I’m going to do tomorrow is go out there, play as hard as I can. There’s going to be a lot of times that I’m going to be out of breath, but I’ve just got to push myself, push my team so we can get in game shape and get ready for the season.”
However, there’s still definitely an underlying hunger within the team, something that Antetokounmpo both feels and hopes will become apparent through competition.
“Being hungry is in your nature,” Antetokounmpo said. “You cannot flip a switch and be hungry or somebody make you hungry. … I think everybody on this team wants to show that last year wasn’t just a year by accident, that we just won 60 games.
“I think we were a great team and we got better, but obviously there’s going to be a lot of teams that expect us, that know us now and they’re going to play harder. They’re going to want to beat the Bucks in the Fiserv Forum. When they play against us they’re going to play hard. We’ve just got to be ready. They’re not going to give us nothing. We’ve got to go out there and take everything that we want and we’ve got to earn everything.”