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Bucks’ Bobby Portis criticized coach, challenged teammates after In-Season Tournament loss to Pacers: report

Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis wasn't happy with Milwaukee's loss in the NBA's in-season tournament semifinals on Thursday. The veteran forward ripped into his teammates and even called out head coach Adrian Griffin, sources told TNT and Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes.

A lack of organization in the final stages of the game seemed to be a bottleneck for Portis. The Indiana Pacers outscored the Bucks in the final minutes of the game.

According to reports, Portis took aim at Griffin and the coaching staff.

Portis also pointed to the Bucks' rebounding problems. The Pacers outscored the Bucks 51-46.

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Bobby Portis, 9, of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket during the in-season tournament semifinal game against the Indiana Pacers at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 7, 2023. (Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

Griffin, who is in his first season as the Bucks' head coach, seemed to take Portis' criticism to heart, saying he knows he has to improve.

The late-game sequence involving star players Khris Middleton and Damian Lillard highlighted what Porter was referring to when he expressed frustration with team cohesion issues.

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With less than three minutes left in the game, Middleton took the court with the ball. Lillard, the Bucks' point guard, usually handles the ball. Middleton initially seemed unsure of where to distribute the pass, forcing Lillard to pass, but it was intercepted.

“The play with Chris, he got the ball inbounds and I was just running up the frame on the other side,” Lillard explained after the game.

“And, you know, there wasn't really a play call. So I was standing across from him and I didn't know if he was going to attack or what. .”

Bobby Portis talks with Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard (age 0) of the Milwaukee Bucks and Bobby Portis talk during the second half break of the first NBA in-season tournament semifinal game against the Indiana Pacers at T-Mobile Arena on December 7, 2023. (9 years old). In Las Vegas. The Pacers defeated the Bucks 128-119. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Bucks acquired Lillard in a blockbuster trade in October. He joined a roster that won an NBA title in 2021. Lillard's arrival in Milwaukee increases championship hopes heading into the 2023-24 season. But things didn't go smoothly for the Bucks.

After a win over the Miami Heat in November, Griffin mentioned that Giannis Antetokounmpo decided to change his play. After losing in the semifinals, Antetokounmpo also expressed that he wants the team to play as a more organized brand of basketball and have more consistent performances.

Giannis Antetokounmpo receives a high five

Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) of the Milwaukee Bucks hits Pat Connaughton (24) after a fast-break dunk during the fourth quarter of a game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center in Houston on December 10, 2021. ) and Bobby Portis (age 9). (Bob Levy/Getty Images)

“We have to be more organized. We have to know what we are ultimately going to do. At the end of the day, it's all about effort. Effort and attitude. is important. “You've got to go out there and take it. I feel like that team, Indiana, that's what they did,” Antetokounmpo said.

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“They crashed the boards, they got defensive rebounds. You know, they got into position. They played great defense. You know, they got deflections too. After all, nothing in life gives you It's like it doesn't exist.''

“Nothing is given to you in the NBA game. You can't expect, 'We're going to run a play and we're going to score a bucket because we ran a play.' You have to cut hard, you have to screen hard, you have to get open, you have to drive the ball. You know, you have to make something happen.”

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Portis finished Thursday's game with four points and six rebounds.

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