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July 14, 2021

Monty Williams

Phoenix Suns

Game 4: Postgame

Milwaukee Bucks - 109, Phoenix Suns - 103

Q. You guys were up seven in the fourth and that was an opportunity to push it out there. What do you feel like didn't work or happen during that stretch?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Well, the turnovers just crushed us tonight. We shot 50 percent from the field, but they got 19 more possessions. Over the course of the game when you just give it up that many times the turnovers and offensive rebounding was a bit of a hill for us to climb.

But you're right, when have you that kind of a lead in the fourth, if we can just hold on to the ball and get good possessions, you feel like you can at least hold it there. So I got to look at the film and see, was it schematics or was it just their defense, I'm not quite sure yet, but we certainly had a lot of self-inflicted stuff tonight.

Q. When Book's sitting with foul trouble, what's that experience like for a head coach where you're just trying to get every single possession you can?

MONTY WILLIAMS: It's hard, because he's -- he could have gone for 50-plus tonight. I wanted to get him in maybe a minute earlier than I did, you're just holding on trying to get as many stops and solid possessions as you can, but it's not an ideal situation. But I thought we managed it well tonight. We were able to get him back in when the game was still tight and we actually had the lead, I think.

So the thing that's on my mind more than anything is how many possessions we gave them tonight, especially with us shooting the ball as well as we did, certainly didn't generate enough threes, only 23. But to your point, it's not an ideal situation, but I thought we handled it better than I thought.

Q. A few of those turnovers were Chris and just very unlike him. Is he physically doing okay right now?

MONTY WILLIAMS: No, he's fine. Great players have games like that. We expect him to bounce back. He had five [turnovers], but we had 17 and they scored 24 points, you know what I mean? That was pretty much the game right there. Then you double that up with the offensive rebounding, so it wasn't just Chris. As a team tonight, we got to take better care of the ball.

Q. There was a lob to Ayton that could have tied it and Giannis made a great play on the ball. Your perspective on what you saw there?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Yeah, they do a really good job of dropping back, like you said, he just made a great play. We have run that play a lot this year and gotten a lob or the jump shot or the three on the back side. He just made a great play.

Q. Obviously Devin had the game that he had, but what did you notice about his mindset even with the fact that he was getting fouls that he was able to still play through all that?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Yeah, he was locked in. We talk about that a ton. He had a really good workout yesterday, a somewhat of a decent workout and then this morning he looked really good in our warmups, shootarounds, but his focus to play in all three levels tonight on offense was really good for us. That's just his mindset. We knew he was going to bounce back from the other night. He was drawing fouls himself and that helps us when he gets to the line.

But if we take care of the ball and cut out five of those turnovers, he probably ends up with 50 tonight. That's the way I look at it. But they're putting a lot of pressure on us and we're doing the same thing with them. It's two good teams, we're 2-2. Like that's the deal. That's what I told our guys, we put ourselves in this position, we got home-court advantage. I foresee him playing like that for the rest of the series.

Q. To go back to the turnovers, just you guys have been such a low-turnover team for the season. How surprising is it to see this happen on this stage? What's kind of your take on it overall?

MONTY WILLIAMS: In my eyes it's like a blip on the screen because we haven't been like, we haven't played that way from a turnover perspective this year. Usually when we do, we bounce back and we're a bit more efficient. Give them credit, they do a really good job of getting hands on balls, they were switching a lot tonight, there were times where we took advantage of it and there were times where we tried to make passes that may not have been there because they're not helping off as much because of the switching. But this is not our normal normal, 17 turnovers and live ball turnovers that turn into points, like we typically don't do that.

Q. On Book, when you say he looked particularly locked in during shootaround today, like what does that look like? I imagine is it a look in his eye? I would imagine it's more than just, oh, he made a bunch of shots in a walkthrough type situation?

MONTY WILLIAMS: No, it's the pop in his step when he's going through his shooting and our strength coach Cory [Schlesinger] was putting him through some stuff, I watched that today, and he was moving really well. So when he's moving like that and has his pop, you expect him to get by people and pull up on the dime for a shot. He was curling, getting to the basket, when he can stop on a dime and get guys up in the air, he has his legs underneath him, it's just a something I see in the shootaround when he's working out, I can tell he's got his legs.

Q. I wonder do you attribute some of the turnover problems to a rhythm thing? You guys have longer in between games now, or is there something else going on?

MONTY WILLIAMS: No, I don't think so. They have the same amount of time off. They only had five. And we played really good half-court defense. Like I said, this is not our normal. We're not going to have that many turnovers from our starting group, and I wouldn't attribute it to anything from a rhythm perspective. You give them credit, they played good defense and there were times where we just gave it up. But I wouldn't say it's a rhythm thing.

Q. You all played them pretty even on second chance points the first two games of this series. Other than Ayton's foul trouble in Game 3, what's kind of made the difference these last two games that's enabled them to get the offensive rebounds?

MONTY WILLIAMS: They're coming to the glass with a great deal of force. We got to meet them outside the paint. It just boils down to that. You can't wait for those guys to get to the paint to try to box them out. When you look at the film of games against them earlier this year, they didn't go to the offensive boards like this. The free throw box-out environment, when the shot goes up they're coming and you got to meet them outside the paint. And we'll do a better job of that in the next game.

Q. You guys held Giannis to 26 points, curious how you felt about how you guys built that wall and then he also had a series-high eight assists. So how did you feel about the balance of him being a scorer versus a playmaker?

MONTY WILLIAMS: I think we're trying to give him some different looks, especially in the half court, I thought our guys did an unreal job in the half court. We were doubling him at times and firing out to their shooters, just trying to take him off of his rhythm. In transition the wall was a lot better tonight. It's something that we can get better at.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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