A clearly irritated Andrew Bogut sat in front of his locker and calmly voiced his frustration.
The Milwaukee Bucks center had just taken part in a discouraging 89-78 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night at the Bradley Center, the team's fourth consecutive defeat.
And Bogut had seen enough.
"We're just not playing pro basketball at the moment," Bogut said. "Talent doesn't win games in this league; we're a talented team.
"We have injuries. Big deal. Every team has injuries. It's getting to the point where there's no excuse for the way we played tonight; no excuse whatsoever.
"We just played like crap. It's our effort, being ready to play, being ready to start the game, being ready to come off the bench. Defensive breakdowns, not knowing our offensive sets. This is February now.
"Myself included, everyone. We all need to know the plays. We need to come out and throw out a professional product out there, and we're not doing that at the moment."
The Bucks were coming off a 0-3 western trip that included losses to the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors.
But they fared no better against the Pistons, who received a jolt of energy from veteran guard Richard Hamilton, who had not played in the previous 13 games and was inactive Friday when Detroit beat New Jersey.
Hamilton, who has feuded with Pistons coach John Kuester, finished with 15 points in 20 minutes and helped Detroit shoot 51.5%.
Veteran Tracy McGrady led the Pistons (19-32) with 20 points, while Tayshaun Prince had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Bogut, returning to the lineup after missing two games with a right knee bone bruise, led the Bucks (19-30) with 18 points and nine rebounds. The only other Bucks player in double figures was Corey Maggette with 15 points.
"We're not playing smart basketball," Bogut said. "Yeah, maybe we're playing hard at times. But we're not reading our scouting reports.
"You can't just throw out a team on the floor - maybe bar Miami and L.A. (Lakers) - and win games. It's just staying ready. It's all about professionalism to me. It's frustrating to me."
The Bucks have allowed their last four opponents to shoot 50% or better, a vital statistic for a team that prides itself on its defense.
"I think our guys are getting a little bit beaten down, and we've got to fight that," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "It's been a long year for the guys offensively so far.
"Definitely what we can't do is let down on the other end of the floor. Tonight, when we had some good defensive possessions, we were able to push it and get something decent on the break, but we didn't have enough of them."
Hamilton, the subject of trade rumors for the past month, was ready when he entered the game late in the first quarter. He scored 11 points in the first half and helped Detroit build a 52-47 halftime lead.
Bogut frustrated with Bucks' effort in loss
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Feb 6