Bucks' Jabari Parker not happy with limited playoff minutes

MILWAUKEE -- Bucks forward Jabari Parker aired his frustration Thursday with a lack of playing time in the first two games of a first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics.

Parker, who is participating in his first postseason after missing chunks of the past two seasons because of two separate ACL injuries to his left knee, has two points in 25 minutes.

"For myself, I just try to be a good teammate," Parker said after Thursday's practice. "I'm not getting what I want right now, but I think there's a bigger picture. I think I did a better job the second game. Not to harp on the first game, but look, I'm human, right? I deserved to be out there and I earned it. Six games and to see that like, I'm not going to handle it well. I have feelings. I've been waiting two years. I've been waiting. And to see that time get cut short -- nobody is going to handle that the right way.

"I just feel like I was cut short. I feel like I wasn't supported, and I [didn't] react the right way," Parker added. "I'm human. I was wrong. Going forward, I'm going to try and be a better person, be a better man and be there for my teammates."

Parker, who played 15 minutes in Game 1 and 10 in Game 2, is 1-for-7 from the field but hopeful that he will be given longer stretches of minutes by interim head coach Joe Prunty.

"It's hard to play four minutes then sit out," Parker said. "Nobody on the team can do that. Nobody, especially in my position."

So how does Parker think he can earn more minutes?

"Be on my coach's good side," Parker said. "Yeah. Whatever that is, just try to be on the good side."

Parker, who scored in double figures in each of the Bucks' final six regular-season games, acknowledged he's not on the best terms with Prunty at the moment.

"I might not be," Parker said, then adding that he didn't know why.

"I don't know," he said. "That's out of my control."

For his part, Prunty tried to brush off Parker's comments, saying that the third-year pro was indeed in his good graces.

"We need him and everybody to be ready to go and step on the floor and play well," Prunty said. "If you look at our offense, you could make an argument, look at the field-goal percentage, we're doing pretty well, scoring some points. But you look at the flip side of that -- our turnovers are way too high. And that's not on Jabari; it's on our entire team.

"Some of it's our execution in transition, some of it's our execution in the half court. Defensively, there's a lot of things we got to take care of. ... Our transition defense has to be better. ... It's on Jabari and everybody that steps on that floor to make sure we take care of all of those things."

Prunty said he wants to see Parker, and the rest of his team, start with more of an edge in Game 3 when his number is called.

"I think for anybody that steps on the floor, they got to be ready to go right from the jump," Prunty said. "Jabari included. ... We've talked a lot about starts of games. This is not a specific thing to him, but ... the starts of the games, the game's close, it's when we go into that first rotation or try to close out quarters [where problems arise]."

Parker, who will be a restricted free agent at season's end, expressed that he feels he earned more minutes with his productive close to the season.

"Y'all know," Parker said. "Y'all not naive, y'all watch the game, so I'll let you answer that."

Parker also noted that he hasn't been told what he needs to do to get more minutes.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo remains confident Parker can find his rhythm quickly. Several Bucks veterans have acknowledged in recent days that they've tried to talk to Parker and keep his spirits up after a rough playoff debut.

"First, we got to talk to him," Antetokounmpo said. "Make him know that we need him. You got to stay into the game, you got to stay focused, no matter what's going on you got to stay locked in and do whatever it takes to help the team. How many minutes did he play in the first game?"

"14," a reporter replied.

"I don't remember that," Antetokounmpo responded. "I remember we lost. That's what I remember, you know what I'm saying? It's not about playing time. It's not about minutes, not about nothing in the playoffs. It's about just winning. Coming back home, protecting our home. Hopefully we can get this first one, then work for the second one, and then go back there. That's what it's all about."

Antetokounmpo conceded he can see frustration from his teammate of three years.

"Definitely," he said. "A lot of people are frustrated with a lot of things. But as I said, this is the playoffs. We don't have time -- our margin of error is not that big. We don't have time for that. We got to show up as a team and get this W. I'm frustrated. I'm supposed to shoot the ball more. But I care about winning; once we're all on the same page, I think everything's going to be a lot easier for everybody to play."