Late last month, the Milwaukee Bucks made the surprising decision to fire coach Adrian Griffin despite the team’s 30-13 start to the 2023-24 season. The veteran coach Doc Rivers was later selected as Griffin’s replacement.
The Bucks ownership and fanbase have championship expectations this season. But, Rivers, who won an NBA title as a coach with the Boston Celtics in 2008, has fallen short of expectations — atleast through his first six games at the helm.
Milwaukee dropped to 1-5 under Rivers following Thursday night’s 129-105 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The lopsided defeat allowed for some of the Bucks’ bench players to see game action in the fourth quarter, including reserve forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo.
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Thanasis Antetokounmpo has been with the Bucks since 2019, playing alongside his younger brother, two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
But, as the elder Antetokounmpo stood next to the scorer’s table awaiting to check into Thursday’s game, Timberwolves announcer Jim Petersen declared the Bucks were essentially forfeiting any comeback attempt.
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“The white flag is being waved,” said Petersen.
“Why do you say that, Jim Pete,” Timberwolves play-by-play announcer Michael Grady asked.
“Because Thanasis is getting ready to come into the game,” Petersen replied. Milwaukee was trailing the Timberwolves by more than 20 points at the time of Antetokounmpo’s substitution.
The Bucks were shorthanded in the game against Minnesota, as star guard Damian Lillard and three-time All-Star Khris Middleton sat out of Thursday’s contest.
Thanasis finished the game with two points during his five minutes on the court. The New York Knicks drafted Thanasis in the second round in 2014. He is averaging just over 4 minutes per game this season over his 20 appearances.
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The win over the Bucks improved the Timberwolves’ record to 36-16. As of Friday, Minnesota is in a first place tie in the Western Conference standings with the defending champion Denver Nuggets.
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