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May 17, 2019

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Ersan Ilyasova

George Hill

Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Postgame 2

Bucks - 125, Raptors - 103.

Q. Giannis, you start the game with a dunk, then the block on Marc Gasol, then another dunk. I know it's just one minute and just a couple of plays in a very long game, but getting off to that start, how much did that set the tone for the whole night do you think?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I think it definitely set the tone. That's what I tried to do. I know at every night when the game starts, my teammates are looking at me as a leader of the team. When the game starts, we've got to set the tone and we've got to be focused.

You've got to make sure the whole team is into the game. And I think it definitely gave the team a lot of energy to start the game.

Q. Ersan, Bud described this as clearly your best game of the season. How were you able to get involved defensively, and secondly, are you superstitious because I noticed you had the shooting sleeve on today. Are you going to stick with that moving forward?
ERSAN ILYASOVA: I mean, everybody is saying about the sleeve. I was making joke in the locker room: Maybe I should put another sleeve on my left if we don't win by 30. Well, the thing is that's the beauty about our team. Everybody wants to look at the bench. We have a deep bench and the whole season we rely on each other. Obviously, in this game we kind of learn a lesson from Game 1 and everybody just from the gates was ready, and especially the bench. I think the starting five set the tone, and we have to just do the same thing.

I think everybody did a great job, just concentrated and not just offensively but defensively as well.

Q. Giannis, Toronto has one of the largest Greek populations in North America. What are you expecting that crowd to be like Sunday night, and how much involvement do you think people are going to try and have with you heading into that?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I've played a series in Toronto two years ago probably, so one or two Greek flags out there. I appreciate any Greeks that come out there and support me, but at the end of the day I'm going to try not to focus as much on the people and the Greeks and the population in Toronto. Just focusing on Game 3 and what we've got to do. If Greek people come out and support the team and me, it's going to be awesome.

Q. Giannis, what's it like for you when you're sitting on the bench watching that second unit do what it's been doing and definitely what it did tonight?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: It's amazing. It's so nice seeing guys come into the game being mentally prepared, setting the tone for the whole team and just playing hard. In this team, any given night, guys can step up. You really don't know where it's going to come from. Tonight Ersan had a great game. George Hill had a great game. In Game 3, someone else is going to have a great game. This is the beauty of basketball. This is the beauty of our team, that we trust one another. We've been winning, so it feels good.

Q. George, what is it about Game 2 in the playoffs that allows you guys to bring that extra juice?
GEORGE HILL: I don't know. I think the amount of rest that we get for Game 1 is probably not good for us. But we find that rhythm. We figure out where we can be effective and the things that we can work on the upcoming days after that. I think it's getting a little comfortable in the game.

I think even though we won Game 1, we weren't satisfied. We knew we didn't play our best ball and we snuck that game out. Like we said, good teams find out how to win games when you're not supposed to win them. We didn't want to not take advantage of the opportunity that was ahead of us. Being satisfied with one game, to come back and play with more energy and more effort, guys locked in more, and I think it was a great job.

Q. Giannis, tonight what were you seeing on kick-outs? It looked like passes were a little bit more accurate, you were able to find guys, and it feels like there's for you a focus on making sure your teammates are going to be involved and making sure you show that trust.
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: Obviously I just said making sure my teammates are involved, and I trust them from day one. I know they're going to make the right play. But at the end of the day, they're not going to let me play one-on-one. So this series is not going to be about me; it's going to be about my teammates being ready to shoot, being ready to make the right play. As the leader of the team, I've got to make sure I deliver the ball to the right guy at the right moment.

As George told me during the game, I've got to stay aggressive. I think at times I forget that I've got to stay aggressive. I pass the ball a lot. But I've got to stay aggressive. I've got to make sure I go downhill and I know the pass is going to be there. That's what I've been trying to do both games, trying to find my teammates.

They've done a great job knocking down shots, being in the right spot and being able to shoot.

Q. I want to take you back to the third quarter, Toronto goes on a run, cuts the lead to 13. You guys take a time-out and then immediately come back with a run of your own. What was said or done during that time-out to kind of steady you guys and get the game back on track?
GEORGE HILL: I know what play you're talking about. We come to the timeout, guys are not hanging their head. We said we knew they were going to make a run. How are we going to respond? How are we going to stop the bleeding? We came out, had a couple of defensive stops, a couple turnovers that we forced that led into some transition baskets, and I think we ran from there. Just don't hang your head.

That's a good team in that locker room and we know that they're going to make runs. We know they're going to fight and swing. We just have to always be prepared, not being comfortable with the lead, continue doing the things that got us the lead, playing defense and pushing it back in transition.

Q. Malcolm said something very interesting. I said, I think some of us don't really realize how special this team is, how good we are. George and Ersan, you guys have played for other teams, Giannis you're a young guy only here in Milwaukee. Is that something you think about individually, we have accomplished a lot but really in the grand scheme of things nothing at all right now?
GEORGE HILL: For me, I don't think about it. I just think about winning. It's a great opportunity that we have, but it means nothing until we get there. I think from not just speaking for myself but just being around these guys every day, we have the will to win. We want to win the free throw games we have after practice. We want to win the shooting games that we do after practice. We just like to compete 1 through 15. All of us like to win. We all like to compete. We all have one goal. And like you said, we're a deep team. It doesn't matter who scores what, who gets the shot. We just want to win and play the right way.

Q. George, going back to that sequence in the third quarter, a lot of it was you and Brogdon kind of contributing there. How much of a boost is it to have him back in the lineup healthy with you guys?
GEORGE HILL: He's a big part of this team. We're going to go far only when we're all healthy and all playing great basketball. To get him back at the right time fully healthy just shows that it adds depth to the team again. We're happy to have him back. We know he's a big playmaker and we know teams have to respect him on the court.

Q. Ersan, this is your third tour now with the Bucks. When you came into the league I think it was 2009, you were a young guy. Just how much did this night or this performance mean to you today considering what things were like when you first came to Milwaukee and how it kind of went along over the years?
ERSAN ILYASOVA: Yeah, it was 2005, so I'm still young. It's all good. Obviously those opportunities come really rare, and you can't take it for granted. All these teams I had with the Bucks, we kind of were up and down and we never passed the first round. I think like when we catch this group of guys together, I think we have to use this opportunity now. I think like everybody understands that.

We have a great group of coaches who trust us, and I think it's all about chemistry. When we go to locker room, even when we lose the game, everybody stays positive. It's just we're all about the next game. I think for us it's big time when we go to the playoffs. The teams always make adjustments -- obviously with Giannis, double teams, and he sacrifices himself and finds the open guys. With the bench, we all realize the same way. When we set the tone, we have to come out with the same energy. Like I said before, it's not just offensively. I think for us it's all defensively. Even this game when they make the run in the third quarter, I think we step up defensively, just stop them and make a run.

Q. Going to Toronto, you're going to get their best shot back at their place, the crowd is going to be behind them, they're going to be rejuvenated even though they're down 0-2?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: Yeah, Game 3 is going to be way tougher than Game 1 and Game 2. We're playing at their home now, but I think we're going to be prepared. We're going to make sure we go tomorrow watch some clips, try to get better. But at the end of the day, it's all about us. If we do our job defensively, move the ball offensively and just do our job, generally we're going to be fine. But definitely they're going to come out, try to set the tone, try to play hard, try to protect home. But we did our job.

A shout-out to Suki [Hobson], Strength Conditioning Coach of the Year. I just want to say.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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