Take a breath.

Losing in the second round sucks. You can see the conference finals — the only portal to the glorious, honey-drenched, sun-filled NBA Finals — right in front of you. All you have to do is beat this damn annoying team in front of you, that will not stop defending and scoring from deep.

Pregame: Let Grant Williams have all the 3s he wants. Gotta stop Jayson Tatum.

Mid-third quarter: Why is Mike Budenholzer leaving Grant Williams open???

And they keep coming and keep coming, and something critical in your squad breaks — like a prop shaft in your favorite NASCAR driver’s ride — and your team goes down. It can go down fighting, like the Memphis Grizzlies, or go down meekly, like the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers, but the feeling is no less raw.

The season’s over.

We could have won the Larry!

Yes, you could have. Any team in the Elite Eight of the NBA playoffs is good enough to win the whole thing. But, you didn’t.

So, what’s next? Tinker around the margins, or does something feel stale in your locker room? At this level, it’s so easy to overreact. But, unless your team suffered a catastrophic injury it could not overcome, as the Milwaukee Bucks had with Khris Middleton, the instinct to do something big is so hard to resist. The truth is, almost always, so much more mundane. Giannis Antetokounmpo made 29 of 60 free throws — 48.3 percent — against the Brooklyn Nets in the second round last season. He made 56 of 85 — 65.9 percent — against Phoenix in the finals, including 17 of 19 in the series-clinching Game 6.

(Bleep) happens, you know?