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July 7, 2021

Mike Budenholzer

Milwaukee Bucks

Practice Day

Q. Last night Giannis said that he would have no idea how he would feel this morning. He didn't know if he would swell up or whatever. How did he come out of the game and kind of when you watched it back, how did he look to you?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: Everything this morning has been positive and clean. I think we'll move just a little bit and I think we'll get continued feedback in the next little bit, but so far all good.

Looking at the film, he's like everybody else. There's some things that he can do better and there's some things that he did well, and same as our group. I think the thing about Giannis, he always gets better, if for whatever reason he's missed some days or some games. And again, not unlike probably a lot of players, he's going to get better as we go forward.

Q. If you'll indulge one more family question, I was wondering from your dad what you got from him when it comes to the essence of coaching. I know it's different high school to NBA and when he coached, but the heart of what he taught you about coaching.

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: Yeah, it's funny. I'll lead with the difference between the NBA and high school. He wants to us press every minute of every game. He doesn't understand why we don't press more. And one of his favorite lines to me was, you should press as soon as they get off the bus. So that was philosophically -- but if you take that notion, that idea of full-court pressure, I think there's an idea of playing hard and competing and being aggressive. I think conversely he talked about playing fast and shooting. I don't think the three-point line was in, to be honest with you, but he wanted to press and run, press and run. We don't press, but we try to guard and then run.

I think he had a great passion. At the end of the day, he coached with a ton of passion. I remember it, and hopefully that's what I do.

Q. Will that be like a 1-3-1 press tomorrow?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: No, if he gets me, I don't know what it will be. He has got some different ones he draws up and writes the numbers down. It's great. It's a lot of fun.

Q. The last couple of games in the East Finals a lot of people say the same basic thing, wow, if Jrue plays that way when Giannis comes back, the Bucks are going to be pretty awesome. It obviously didn't happen last night. Is it just harder than people think to have three guys going at once, or were there things there where he missed opportunities to play the way he was playing?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: Yeah, it's both. I think in that perfect ideal world all three guys are hitting and clicking and everything is perfect. But I'm guessing if you look at any team that has three great players or three really significant players, I bet a lot of nights it's two out of three that they're going and playing well. So I think different teams, different people have lived that experience.

So it's harder than people realize. In the same breath, I do think that we as a group, coaches, players, can help those three guys be aggressive, and all three of them have a mindset to attack and really put kind of their stamp on the game. The great thing about all three of them is they're really good defenders. They do a lot on that end of the court. So I think sometimes it's underestimated how they impact the game there. But I get it, people are looking at points and things like that. We need to be aggressive, all three of them.

Q. Any adjustment you are going to do on the defensive end, especially guarding Chris Paul in Game 2?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: We looked at film. You feel like there's things you can get better. There's things that you did that you liked. So we threw a few different looks during the game. What we do between now and Game 2 we'll figure out, we'll talk about. He's player that probably you got to change up the looks. If he gets a rhythm on something, it's not good for us. So you got to have multiple kind of looks and adjustments and be able to execute at a high level whatever you're doing.

Q. Going back to Giannis, are you surprised that he played? I mean, the injury was pretty scary a week ago and then he came back and he was almost like Giannis.

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: We're fortunate to kind of see the work that's going on I guess behind the scenes and watch him kind of work from that first night and all the things he did then and up until yesterday at tip. So I think it's so impressive what he's able to do, what his body, what it can take and how it can respond to different situations. He continues to just impress in every way possible, including being able to play last night.

Q. I'm sure you haven't been able to get back to everybody from Holbrook who has reached out to you, but knowing how big basketball is there, what has that support meant to you, and if you had anything to say to them? And then secondly, I wondered how your dad communicates with you? Does he actually text these plays to you or write it down or call you at midnight? How does that go?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: Like I've said, everybody player comes from somewhere and every coach. To be from a small town in northern Arizona, and to have that support and to feel how supported and proud everybody is and to be in our home state, yeah, it's special. I would be lying or living in a cave if I didn't feel it and see it. Very appreciative of that love and support.

My dad mostly texts. He has to turn it over to mom sometimes to get it right or spell correct and things like that. And the notes, lots of times he's got lots of notes from a long time ago that sometimes he'll bring out and we'll rehash on a yellow pad of paper. But now it's mostly texts from my mom, from my dad.

Q. Getting back to Giannis, are you still surprised after coaching him so many years of his tenacity and he's willing to play, no matter what's going on with his body?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: No. He's always pushing. He's always impressing his teammates, the organization. I think his colleagues in the league, the people he competes against, there's so much respect for Giannis and what he does. He just continues to impress and push, and he's one of the best. He's one of the greats.

Q. I know it's always touchy to hit on the officiating, but pretty big disparity at the line. And Khris in particular, not a lot of nights when he's going to not go to the line at all. Just how did you see that aspect of last night?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: You trying to bait me? No, I mean it's a huge part of the game. They have 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 attacks, the way Khris attacks, as many opportunities as Khris has with the ball -- no, it's frustrating, but it's part of the sport. It's part of the game. We got to be better defensively. We 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.

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