Milwaukee Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has a plan of how to improve his free throw shooting after going only 1-for-10 from the foul line on Friday against the Dallas Mavericks. Antetokounmpo, the reigning NBA MVP, was absolutely horrendous from the foul line but still he finished the game with a game-high 31 points and led the Bucks to a tight 112-109 win over the Mavericks.
"It's simple,'' Antetokounmpo said on Friday night after making just one of his 10 free throws in a 112-109 victory over the Mavericks, per ESPN. "Just go back. Shoot more. Focus on your technique. Take it step by step.
Just shoot more. That's it. The more you shoot, the more you work on it, the better you get. There's no secret in that.' ' Bucks forward Khris Middleton also came up big against the Mavericks as he finished the game with 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
After the game, Middleton comforted Antetokounmpo as he acknowledged that all players experience tough stretches from the foul line. "I don't say much to him,'' Middleton said. "I don't want to get in his head and have him think about 1,000 different things.
I think he knows what he needs to do.' '
Antetokounmpo insists he is not overthinking
When at the free throw line, back-to-back NBA MVP Antetokounmpo just "shoot shots" so he claims that overthinking is not to blame for his free throw struggles.
"I don't think at the free throw line,'' Antetokounmpo said. "I just shoot shots. I've done this since I was like 12 years old. There are players that probably think when they shoot or whatever the case might be.
I just go to the free throw line and say the stuff I say always to myself, try to have a good technique and just try to shoot the ball high and give it a chance because most of my [missed] shots are short.' ' Meanwhile, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer acknowledged that Antetokounmpo should return to the basics and simply practice his free throws.
"He's just got to keep working through the free throw line, continue to put the time in, grow his confidence and step up and make them,'' Bucks coach Budenholzer said. Following a win over the Mavericks, the Bucks improved to a 9-4 record. Antetokounmpo has been averaging 26.6 points, 10 rebounds and 5.2 assists this season.