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Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks in the midst of historically bad 5-game losing streak

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for the Milwaukee Bucks over the last 10 games. Only a week and a half removed from their fifth straight victory over the Denver Nuggets, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks lost to the Toronto Raptors on Thursday, continuing what is now a five-game losing streak.

Not only has the Bucks fallen out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference, they are also the first team in NBA history to follow a five-game winning streak in which they won every contest by double digits, to lose the next five games, according to ESPN Statistics and Information.

For a team looking to insert itself into the record books by bringing home its first championship since 1971, the dubious distinction is sure to leave a sour taste in the mouths of Giannis and company.

With Jrue Holiday sidelined indefinitely due to COVID-19 protocols, the degree to which the Bucks’ offense has stagnated has been nothing short of surprising. Operating without a second creator on offense, they have resorted to the type of stagnant halfcourt sets that doomed them in previous postseason runs. Generally, the team will simply dump the ball off to Giannis near the elbow and hope that he can penetrate the lane and draw defenders before kicking the ball out to a waiting shooter.

Working against one of the smartest teams in the NBA in the Raptors, the Bucks found that the interior was routinely walled off and that help defenders were quick to rotate to stymie any inside looks. With little offensive creativity, Giannis and the Bucks trailed by double digits for most of the night and looked like a team even further away from championship contention.

Unless coach Mike Budenholzer is willing to change his formula moving forward, the losing streak might be the only historic “accomplishment” for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rest of the Bucks.