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Giannis Antetokounmpo rues Bucks’ slow starts

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks are off to a great start this season. In fact, the Bucks are currently leading the Central Division standings with a 12-4 overall record. However, the team has been dealing with sluggish starts — an issue Giannis Antetokounmpo is ready to address.

The Bucks have found themselves trailing at the end of the first quarter in eight of their 16 games played this season. On Monday night, they were down four points to the Denver Nuggets after one quarter of play. By halftime, Denver’s lead had grown to 10.

“We definitely need to fix it,” Giannis Antetokounmpo told ESPN after Monday night’s 104-98 win against the Nuggets “We have to do a better job trying to set the tone. I think we did a better job this game, but we can do a lot better. But talent always saves us. I feel like we’re so talented that when were down 10, down 15, we can always get back in the game. But we know that down the road, that is not going to help us. We have to be able to set the tone and have control of the full game.”

Antetokounmpo has established himself as one of the best players in today’s NBA, and he’s certainly an integral piece of Milwaukee’s rotation. In his 15 appearances with the Bucks this season, the former 15th overall pick has racked up averages of 25.9 points on 55.5 percent shooting from the field, 12.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals in 33.1 minutes per outing.

“I don’t want to overreact,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer told ESPN. “In a perfect world, you’d be great for all four quarters. That is kind of our goal, our mission, to play better for more of the 48 minutes than our opponent.”

Milwaukee’s next shot at correcting its first quarter woes comes on Wednesday night, as they’re scheduled to host the Portland Trail Blazers inside Fiserv Forum. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m. EST.