While some believed Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t play enough minutes in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer put those complaints to rest when he discussed the star forward’s workload.
Budenholzer explained that playing Antetokounmpo more wouldn’t have been a solution to his team’s struggles when Milwaukee was eliminated from the playoffs after a 100-94 loss to the Raptors on Saturday.
“I don’t think Giannis playing 44 minutes is the solution,” Budenholzer told reporters after the game. “If we can’t win with Giannis at 40, 40.5 (minutes), then Toronto deserves it.”
“I don’t think Giannis playing 44 minutes is the solution.”
Mike Budenholzer on Giannis’ minutes following the Bucks’ Game 6 loss.#NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/DpZAVwqV9e
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 26, 2019
When pressed about Antetokounmpo’s minutes, Budenholzer said his All-Star only sat for about three minutes in the entire second half. He also said he needs the rest of his team to step up and make an impact when Antetokounmpo is on the bench.
Antetokounmpo played 41 minutes in the loss, contributing 21 points and 11 rebounds with three blocks and two steals. He ended up playing more minutes in the conference finals series as he averaged 38.5 over the six games.
For comparison, he was on the court 34 minutes per game against the Celtics and played just 32.7 minutes per game during the regular season.