Even with the Milwaukee Bucks on the brink of elimination after dropping three straight games to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals, Giannis Antetokounmpo has not lost confidence in his team.
"We are the best team in the league. We are not going to fold," the MVP finalist said after a 105-99 loss in Game 5 on Thursday, according to ESPN's Malika Andrews. "If we lose, we lose, but we are not going to fold. That's not what we do."
He added, per Andrews: "I'm pissed. I'm not going to lie to you. ... As much as I'm pissed and frustrated about this game it's in the past."
Antetokounmpo had yet another strong performance in Game 5, posting 24 points, six rebounds, six assists and one block in the losing effort. While he shot just 25.6 percent from beyond the arc during the regular season, he went 2-of-3 from distance Thursday, making one to cut his team's deficit to two points with just over four minutes remaining.
The Bucks posted the best record in the NBA during the regular season at 60-22 and didn't lose three consecutive games at any point during their first 95 outings (postseason included). However, they now find themselves searching for answers with their season on the line.
The Bucks had the best defensive rating (104.9) in the league during the regular season. They allowed just 101.5 points per game while going 10-1 through their first 11 postseason contests. But in the last three games—all losses—they have allowed 114.3 points per game while posting a 110.3 defensive rating.
Antetokounmpo noted the Bucks "created great habits" throughout the season, which could help them snap their skid:
Milwaukee now faces the difficult task of going to Toronto and needing to win in order to extend the series. The Raptors (32-9) tied for the third-best home record in the NBA during the regular season and are 7-2 at home in the playoffs, including a 2-0 mark during this series.
The Bucks, though, were responsible for two of the Raptors' nine home losses during the regular season.