Giannis Antetokounmpo admits the Milwaukee Bucks' sensational NBA season has caught him by surprise.
Monday's 131-121 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center left the Bucks with a 58-20 record in 2018-19, and one win away from securing home advantage in the playoffs.
The Bucks were the first team to secure their postseason berth on March 1, and they wrapped up the Central Division title 20 days later.
Should they beat the Philadelphia 76ers, the Bucks will be guaranteed to go into the playoffs with the best record across the NBA, and that is something Antetokounmpo – who contributed 28 points against the Nets – was not expecting at the start of the campaign.
"I thought we were going to be a really good team, but to be honest with you I didn't think we would have the best record in the NBA," said the MVP contender following his return from an ankle issue.
"We know how important it [the best record] is, but we're just trying to get better.
"Obviously we won the game but we didn't play the best basketball we could play. Against Philly we're just going to try and be better and hopefully we can clinch the first spot in the NBA."
Defeat left the Nets scrambling for a playoff place, although they were fortunate to see all their rivals for the final three places also lose.
The Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets are all vying for the playoffs in the East, but suffered losses.