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July 11, 2021

Monty Williams

Phoenix Suns

Game 3: Postgame

Milwaukee Bucks 120, Phoenix Suns 100

Q. (No microphone).

MONTY WILLIAMS: There's a lot of ways you can spin it, but they played with a great deal of aggression for longer stretches than we did. We knew it was coming. We did not respond to it well tonight, especially in the second and third quarters. The turnovers certainly hurt us, points in the paint, everything we have been talking about the whole series. So it was a tough lesson for us to learn. You know what was coming, but just didn't do enough consistently to withstand their attacking the paint, whether it was penetration, offensive rebounding. We gave them so many possessions, so we lost a shot and then they scored off of it. It was a double whammy.

Q. I saw you put your arm around Devin. What was the message that you were trying to get to him?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Just talking to him about the game, the kind of force we have to play with. Just normal stuff. This is one of those games that you typically, in NBA speak, say flush it. But you can't in the Finals. We got to watch the film and learn and get back to playing our kind of basketball consistently. We saw it in spurts. Just didn't have enough of it tonight to hold them off and maintain any level of consistency. Usually when we play with a great deal of force and edge, the consistency follows. We just weren't consistent with that tonight.

Q. Deandre had a terrific first half and then struggled with the foul trouble in the second half. Just given the state of your frontcourt with injuries and stuff, how much more of a bind does that put you guys in when he can't be out there for those extended times?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Yeah, it does. But that's going to happen. I'm not going to get into the complaining publicly about fouls. Just not going to do that. But you can look -- we had 16 free throws tonight. One person had 17. So DA is -- we got to learn from that. We got to beat guys to the spot. He'll grow from this, I promise you he will.

Q. When you look at second-chance points, fast-break points, points off turnovers, is that where you go back to consistency again ,just the last 10 percent of the effort?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean you look at, conversely, ours, it's like a tale of two cities, you know what I'm saying? They had so many points in the paint, plus-14. But the second-chance points, that was a struggle for us. We know that's what they want to do. So we got to come up with the 50/50 balls. We got to box out better. That's on us. We can't blame anybody else for that. That's us.

Q. With Frank getting in there, was that the main reason, just the interior presence?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Needed some size, for sure. We needed some size in the paint, rebounding. And, offensively, Frank does move the ball from side to side; I didn't see enough of that tonight. When the ball moved from side to side or we got two or three passes, the offense looked like it had some type of flow. But we just didn't have enough of that.

Q. I know it's a different series, but what can you guys draw from earlier in the playoffs to bounce back after trailing 2-1 to the Lakers, not closing out in Game 5 against the Clippers?

MONTY WILLIAMS: I think we know that we have to play with an unreal amount of aggression and energy for 48 minutes. That's the deal. All of our guys know that we didn't. We have had this happen to us before in the playoffs, and so I expect our guys to bounce back.

Q. You guys had that run in the third where you cut it to four and then from that point on they closed the third on a 24-6 run. What happened in that stretch that kind of blew the game open?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have to look at the film, but it looked like we lost a few guys. Jrue hit some shots, just from my recollection. And we were not able to sustain any flow on offense. The ball got a bit stagnant. But we were taking the ball out of the net and playing against their set defense. I think Jrue got loose a little bit. We went under on his screen, and then he just hit some tough threes. Other than that, I have to look at the film to give you a better answer.

Q. Dwayne asked you about Book and the messaging after the third quarter. He finishes the game 3-for-14. Throughout the playoffs, he's been so good. Game 2, every shot you guys needed, he made it. What do you think about his performance tonight? Overall what was it? Their defense? Him not getting to his spots. What did you think?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Probably a bunch of everything. Their aggression, their defense. They keyed on him. He missed some shots. So that's going to happen. He's been in this situation before, as you guys alluded to. When you get to the Finals, it means you've been in a number of situations. So this is nothing new to us anymore. He'll bounce back.

Q. Want to get back to Deandre. He did get into foul trouble in the game, but what do you tell him when the opposing team is targeting him to keep getting him in foul trouble and getting him off the floor? How do you coach him through that?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Yeah, that's a tough one. I don't even want to go there. It's pretty self-explanatory. We got to figure out or define what is a legal guarding position because there are times where he can move his hands out of the way, but it's hard to tell a guy what to do when somebody is running into you, you know what I mean? I don't know what a legal guarding position is at times.

But they were aggressive and we have to give them credit. I'm not going to sit here and complain about a team that is aggressive. But we have to understand how the refs are calling the game and then adjust to that. There's a ton of physicality in the game, for sure, but as far as teaching him, we got to look at the film and see where he can have better body position and pick up some charges when they present themselves.

Q. Back to Deandre, again, but up until the foul trouble I think he exceeded his Game 2 point total in the first quarter alone. What was working for him early on and was that kind of your intent to try to get to him early on?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Yeah, we always want to go to him, for sure. He puts pressure on the rim. We tried to post him up a couple of times and he scored. He just had a good game going, but the foul trouble didn't allow for him to continue it. When he can have that kind of production, it makes us a really good team. And we expect him to play that way again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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