Free-throw attempts in the Milwaukee Bucks’ win in Game 3 of the NBA Finals last night:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo: 17
- Phoenix Suns: 16
“I’m not going to get into the complaining publicly about fouls,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “Just not going to do that.”
His very next words: “But you can look. We had 16 free throws tonight. One person had 17.”
Maybe Williams was merely noting the statistics. But it sure sounded like he was complaining. Also: C’mon.
Williams was later asked again about Deandre Ayton, who played just 24 minutes while collecting five fouls.
“I don’t even want to go there,” Williams said. “It’s pretty self-explanatory.”
His very next words: “We got to figure out or define what is a legal guarding position, because there are times where he can move his hands out of the way. But it’s hard to tell a guy what to do when somebody is running into you. You know what I mean? I don’t know what a legal guarding position is at times.
“But they were aggressive, and we have to give them credit. I’m not going to sit here and complain about a team that is aggressive.”
Williams finally hit the crux of the issue. The Bucks were far more aggressive than Phoenix. Antetokounmpo is a force.
The Suns even seemed to strategically defend Antetokounmpo very physically. If they avoided a call, great. That made it easier (though not easy) to stop him. If they got whistled, sending Antetokounmpo to the free-throw line wasn’t the worst outcome. He had been especially slumping from the stripe.
But complaining after playing that way? That’s pretty weak.
Not that Williams did that. He even said he wasn’t.