Mike Budenholzer accepted the Milwaukee Bucks "got our butts kicked" by the Miami Heat but insisted the NBA champions are just getting started.
Even accounting for the absence of Jrue Holiday (right heel), Brook Lopez (back) and Bobby Portis (left hamstring), the Bucks were wildly out of sorts in a 137-95 rout, which marked the Heat's season opener.
A 19-0 stretch early in the first had Miami 22-3 ahead. By the end of the first quarter, it was 40-17 and by half-time Milwaukee trailed 72-43.
Bucks coach Budenholzer made no excuses when addressing reporters after the game.
"We'll get some of the guys back and every team is going to deal with this at different points, most likely," he said.
"It's a long journey and we're just getting started.
"We got our butts kicked. That happens in the NBA."
Still the Champs. pic.twitter.com/zBdju4aYFT— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 22, 2021
Tyler Herro had 27 points from the bench, which matched a record for any Heat player as a reserve playing 25 minutes or less.
The Heat's 137 points was a franchise benchmark for opening night, which was previously 128 against the Detroit Pistons in 1999, while it was their biggest margin of victory for a first game of a season, falling just short of the overall record of 43 points set against the Los Angeles Clippers in 1994.
It meant a measure of revenge given the Bucks routed the Heat 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs last season.
"Last year, we felt like we got embarrassed," Herro said.
"I mean, 137's a lot. Hopefully, we can see that a lot this season."