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Giannis on Approach After Bucks' Game 1 Upset: 'Do Whatever It Takes to Win'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) fouls Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) while reaching for a loose ball during the second half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has a plan after his team lost Tuesday's Game 1 to the Orlando Magic in stunning fashion. 

"Play harder," he said when asked what his approach will be when it comes to leadership going into Game 2, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN. "Be more vocal. Lead by example. At the end of the day, I can’t change who I am and what I do. And what I do, as I said early is that I get on the court and do whatever it takes to win."

It's hard to blame the reigning MVP for the 122-110 loss, as he finished with 31 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists. He even hit three triples, which is not exactly his forte and that stood out in a game that the Bucks connected on just 33.3 percent of their three-point attempts.

Khris Middleton was just 4-of-12 from the field for 14 points, while Milwaukee couldn't contain big man Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic exploded for 35 points, 14 rebounds and four assists, exploiting weaknesses in the Bucks defense and proving a matchup problem with his outside shooting.

If there is a silver lining for the top-seeded Bucks, it is recent history.

The Magic shocked the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series last season just for Kawhi Leonard and company to win the next four and parlay that momentum into a championship run.

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This is a championship-or-bust postseason for the Bucks after finishing with the league's best record, so they have a blueprint to follow moving forward even after an early loss to Orlando.

All it will take is a win in Thursday's Game 2 for the Bucks to quickly shift the narrative of the series.