July 5, 2021
MONTY WILLIAMS: We tried to prep for this yesterday so we could keep it as normal as possible. We changed a few things up so we could get what we needed in and then allow for media to come in and do what you guys have to do.
But as far as us, it was a good day, locked in, focused. We have been waiting to play, so the guys, they're just ready to go. One more drill from me encouraged all kind of looks, but the preparation has been good for us and the focus has been really good.
Q. We don't know the status of Giannis in the game, but can you give me your impressions of how they played without him?
MONTY WILLIAMS: The pressure they put on the paint has been pretty consistent, even with Giannis [out], but you see a different way of doing it now with Jrue attacking and Lopez diving. That's been something that we have to respect. You have to respect them anyway with Giannis getting into the paint -- in transition, in isolation, when he dives in the pick-and-roll, especially with Middleton. So without Giannis, there seems to be a different way of attacking the paint. And then all of their guys that crash the boards. When Giannis is down there with Lopez, they're so big there's really no room, it seems like, for other guys. Now you got Connaughton going. You got P.J. going a ton. Portis is down there. Everybody they bring in the game pretty much is going to get an offensive rebound. So they haven't stopped playing the way they want to play. The pressure on the paint has been pretty consistent in the playoffs.
Q. Were you sure that your group would rebound from the Game 3 loss to the Lakers and stay kind of consistent culturally as you had hoped in that pressure?
MONTY WILLIAMS: Yeah, I would love to tell you yeah, but you don't know. You're confident that they will because we have been a resilient group. We have dealt with a lot. We have always talked about poise. That was a talk after that game, about how we can't, obviously, beat ourselves, which sounds like coach-speak, but that was part of the talk. It was them talking about it. They knew it, and so I didn't have to do it as much.
As far as being confident about our group, yeah, I'm always confident that we're going to bounce back. I've said this to the local media here. We always have, after a loss or a setback, a remorseful group, especially when we self-inflict on the floor. That's what we expect. We always expect to bounce back.
Q. Could you compare for me what you imagined maybe this moment might feel like versus what it feels like to be here now?
MONTY WILLIAMS: That's hard. I don't think you ever -- you just want to get there, you know what I mean? And as a head coach, I don't have time to do all of that. I'm just focused on the things necessary to get wins. That's all I'm thinking about. I can't stop and think about my feelings or -- human nature leads you there sometimes, and then I snap out of it and I just move on to the next objective, which is more film, conversations with the coaches and players, that kind of thing. Obviously there's a level of gratitude to be in this position, but you move on from that and you start to strategize and figure out ways to maximize the moment.
Q. The Bucks are coming off this series quickly. You guys have had more extended time off. How is everyone feeling and how is it going to feel to get back out on the court tomorrow?
MONTY WILLIAMS: I think the guys feel really good about where we are. We have had a few days to heal and get back in the gym, and we have had some really good practices. Yesterday was one of our more competitive practices. The spirit was great. Guys are ready to play. That's been the sentiment for the last couple of days. Guys are ready to get out there and hoop against somebody else.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports