Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer wasn't happy with the disparity in free throws between his team and the Phoenix Suns in Game 1. In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Suns tooks 26 free throws while the Bucks had 16 free throws for the game.
Going forward, Bucks head coach Budenholzer acknowledged his team has got to keep the Suns off the free throw line. "You trying to bait me?" Budenholzer said with a smile when asked about the Suns getting 10 more free throw attempts than his team in Game 1.
"No, I mean, it's a huge part of the game. They had 25 points from the free throw line. We're a team that prides ourselves in defending and being able to be good defensively without fouling. "I can't remember the last time a team got 25 free throws in a game against the Bucks.
And then conversely, the way Giannis [Antetokounmpo] attacks, the way Khris [Middleton] attacks, as many opportunities as Khris has with the ball ... it's frustrating, but it's part of the sport. It's part of the game.
"We've got to be better defensively. We've got to keep them off the free throw line and we got to be more aggressive attacking and getting to the free throw line and getting to good offense."
Bucks Khris Middleton not happy with not getting free throws
In Game 1, Middleton took 26 shots but not a single free throw.
"It's tough, you know, teams have been getting up in me lately," Middleton said after Game 1. "Just got to try to play through it. Can't try to wait for the officials to bail me out. Just try to be strong with it.
If they call a foul, they call a foul. But lately, they haven't, so I just have to play better, be stronger." Meanwhile, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday admitted he needs to be more aggressive going forward. "Their defense does try to take that away," Holiday said of attacking the paint.
"Again, like I said earlier, they pack the paint very, very well but we've got to be smart. Sell [contact] a little bit. "But we have to be in the paint a lot more. I felt like every series that we played in, the games that we've won, we've been the best in the paint and scoring in the paint, so that's what we have to continue to do."