Free throws Rumors
After the Suns had 26 free throws in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer admitted the disparity at the line in the opening game — a 118-105 Phoenix win — was “frustrating” for Milwaukee. “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.”
Atlanta defeated Milwaukee 116-113 on Wednesday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Clint Capela’s putback after a Trae Young miss gave the Hawks a 112-111 lead with 29.8 seconds left in the game. Young’s four free throws in the final 17.3 second secured the victory. Atlanta erased a seven-point deficit in the final four minutes. As they proved against Philadelphia in the conference semifinals, the Hawks just keep playing regardless of score. “Well, again, we’ve been in this position many times,” Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan said. “Seven-point game is really a three-possession game. We felt that we know what we need to do. We need to get stops and we need to execute and score. They did another solid job of executing down the stretch, again, finding that matchup.
But with a chance to give them a three-point lead with 8.2 seconds left, George surprisingly missed both free throws despite coming into this game making 89.2% from the free throw line this postseason. “I’m not going to put too much on that,” George said afterward. “Obviously it was an opportunity that was missed. Pat made an unbelievable play that put me in position to extend the lead. I’m always confident at the free throw line. I’ve always been very successful in clutch moments at the free throw line.”