Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks’ contender status draw harsh Kendrick Perkins take

The NBA analyst had harsh words when speaking about Milwaukee’s chances.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are mired in a tough stretch that has seen them lose six of their last seven games.

ESPN NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins isn’t buying what the Bucks are selling, and had harsh words for the team:

When asked if the Bucks are legitimate contenders, Perkins went in.

“Hell no. And the word is out that they’re soft and they’re front-runners. Look, the Milwaukee Bucks, when you think about what they did – just forget the games that they lost previously, to the Wizards, to the Raptors, to the Grizzlies. This was the time, you’re at home going against the Knicks. And all of a sudden, you come out and you come with the right mindset, the right energy, and then you punch the Knicks in the mouth. All of a sudden, when the Knicks and ‘big body’ Brunson started to fight back, they folded like clean sheets. And so when I look at the Milwaukee Bucks, Doc [Rivers] said something last week about the professionalism. The professionalism is actually competing. This team doesn’t compete.

When you’re talking about a veteran group, and you look at the core of this group that’s been there, and won multiple playoff series together, won a championship, when you think about Giannis, Brook Lopez, Bobby Portis, and Kris Middleton. When you’re talking about just competing, not X’s and O’s, but just closing out on shooters, boxing out, keeping the New York Knicks off the offensive glass…the Milwaukee Bucks are the true definition of front-runners.”

What’s going on with the Bucks?

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) and guard Damian Lillard (0) during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Fiserv Forum.© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Bucks coach Doc Rivers is taking the blame for his team’s recent poor play. Rivers is taking responsibility for his team’s third straight ugly loss, at the hands of the Toronto Raptors.

“The last three were against three bad teams. To me, that’s inexcusable. For all of us,” Rivers said, per The Athletic. “As I told them, this is on me. I gotta figure out what we gotta do to play at a higher pace.”

The Bucks’ three straight losses have come to the Raptors, as well as the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards. The team has been in all three games but couldn’t make the right plays down the stretch to come up on top. Ultimately, it came down to the team’s inability to get stops.

It’s been a very turbulent ride for the team with Doc Rivers as head coach. Rivers joined the team midseason and struggled out of the gate. He is only 15-17 as head coach of the Bucks this season, despite the team having one of the best records in the Eastern Conference before he arrived. The Bucks parted ways with Adrian Griffin to bring in Rivers midway through the campaign. The team had a 30-13 record with Griffin.

The team needs to quickly find the recipe to success before the season falls out of their grasp. The Bucks sit with a 47-31 record in the East. Despite the recent losses, Milwaukee has the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, only behind the Boston Celtics.

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