Giannis Antetokounmpo insists the players must shoulder the blame after the Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Indiana Pacers in the in-season tournament semi-finals.
The Pacers won 128-119 in Las Vegas to take their place in the final of the inaugural competition. Indiana will face the Los Angeles Lakers in that show-piece game.
Milwaukee were the favourites heading into Thursday's matchup, but Antetokounmpo criticised the team's lack of organisation.
However, he was adamant the players, not the coaches, must take responsibility.
"The talent level we have is incredible," said Antetokounmpo, who finished with a double-double of 37 points and 10 rebounds. "But we have to be more organised.
"I feel like sometimes we're not organised at all. We don't know what we try to get from our offense, or sometimes defensively we're not sprinting back.
"We don't shoot a lot of early 3s. At the end of the day, you have to protect the ball. You have to know where the ball is. We had a lot of situations today that they got a lot of dunks, open 3s, early 3s. We have to be better.
"Nobody is going to give you anything. Like sometimes I feel like we expect just because we have great players out there, that Tyrese Haliburton or Myles Turner or Aaron Nesmith, somebody is not just going to give us the game.
Another double-double for Giannis.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 8, 2023
37 PTS | 10 REB | 2 AST | 2 BLK pic.twitter.com/lbOrDoLaLt
"We have to be better. We have to go out there and take it. You know at the end of the day, I think we are great players, but if we don't go out there and compete, they are not going to respect us. They played their best against us.
"The players play the game. We play the game, you know? Coaches can say whatever they want to say and put us in the position to be successful, and you hope that they do that for you. But you've got to make the plays.
"It's not the coaches' fault you don't sprint back. If you're not able to execute down the stretch and you turn the ball over and you throw it to your opponent's hands, it's not the coaches' fault. You just have to take that."
Bucks coach Adrian Griffin, though, said the onus is on him.
"I've got to do a better job of getting them into some certain sets down," he said. "But we put ourselves in a position [to win].
"The first half was rocky. We made some good adjustments, but we've got to close out in the fourth quarter, which we've done very well. We just couldn't pull it off tonight."