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July 17, 2021

Monty Williams

Phoenix Suns

Game 5: Postgame

Milwaukee Bucks - 123, Phoenix Suns - 119

Q. How killer was that second quarter?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Well, both second and the third. You give up 79 points and the reasoning behind it, I got to look at the film to see it, but we just didn't have the same energy that we had in the first and fourth. You look at the numbers, in the first and fourth, they have 44 points.

So, whether it's schematics or just outright grit and toughness during those moments, to just get a stop, we couldn't get any consecutive stops in the second and the third. That ended up being the, not the difference, but it just put us in a hole and we felt, I felt like we were playing from behind for a long, long time.

Q. You guys pride yourselves on imposing your will and making teams uncomfortable. I just thought there was a stretch like you were talking about where they were just going through the motions and getting any shot they wanted?

MONTY WILLIAMS: It looked like it. And I don't think it's for lack of effort, I just think in those moments understanding what kind of effort we need right now, especially after the start, we expended a lot of energy in the first; we scored 37 points. Well, we're probably going to need more in the second. Defensively it just wasn't there in the second quarter.

Q. After Game 4, you spoke about turnovers and offensive rebounds and for three quarters you largely corrected that. I think you had less turnovers than they did. And they get five offensive rebounds in the fourth and the three turnovers, none bigger than the Jrue steal. Just to see that pop up, what do you think happened?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Well, I just think that the turnovers and the offensive rebounding, we corrected that but they shot 50 percent from three. That was something that kind of gave them the edge. So, they didn't get those points off of turnovers and offensive rebounding, but they got it from the three-point line. We shot 61, we just didn't generate enough. The ball, when it moved tonight, it looked like Suns basketball. But we just didn't generate enough threes.

So, to your point, like we did what we were supposed to, as far as the offensive rebounding and turnovers, but we gave up too many threes tonight.

Q. On the steal by Jrue on Booker, just a strong defensive play or?

MONTY WILLIAMS: A great play by Jrue. I don't have any other words for that one, I just watched it and just makes a great play.

Q. You kind of were talking about when the ball moved and stuff like that, I know Devin had great game obviously but it seemed like there was a lot of possessions where it was just like give the ball to him and he does something.

MONTY WILLIAMS: Yeah, we got to move it around. We know what Book can do with the ball, but the one thing we talked about was getting to the paint, finding guys on the back side. We feel like that's a formula. There were some times tonight where it just stuck a little bit and against their defense, they don't have to work against that. So we can score in iso ball, but to make that defense work we got to move it around and in order to beat this team that's what you got to do.

Q. We have talked all playoffs just about the new experiences, the guys going through stuff for the first time. This is now going to be another one with you guys haven't faced elimination at all. Chris was up here saying it doesn't get any harder than this, to use one of your terms. Just what do you want to see out of the guys the next two days to make sure that you're still in a good head space to go into Game 6?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Well, head space, mental stamina, all that stuff, like it boils down to getting it done. We got to win one game to put them back on the plane. That's it. And you have to have that determination that you're willing to do whatever it takes to put them back on the plane. So, we can call it what we want to, mental toughness, all of that stuff, but it's going to be needed and our guys are capable of doing it. This is our first time in this position and we can do it.

Q. Jrue's defensive imprints have obviously been all over this series but he's been kind of quiet offensively until tonight and he got going really in that second quarter. Was it just him getting going or did you feel like you had breakdowns?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Probably a bit of both. Getting over the screens or being up on the screens, whatever the case may be, he was knocking down shots, so we have to make those adjustments and that's on me. We have to understand who the hot guy is and then make the adjustment in game. I just didn't do a good enough job helping our guys tonight.

Q. With Chris it felt like he was able to do paint to great a lot more tonight. How did you like his bounce off the dribble and just the ability to get the offensive going a little bit?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Yeah, he was going to the paint and DA early was going with him and so that put a lot of pressure on their rim protection. The pressure against Chris has slowed us up a little bit. In the first quarter, it didn't and we scored 37 points. So, that's a formula for us, just get to the paint, shoot it or find guys.

Q. Is that a formula you can go over in the film?


Q. For Game 6?

MONTY WILLIAMS: Yeah, for sure. Our guys know, everybody in our locker room talked about it, we got to get the ball moving and make their defense work.

Q. You talk about the ball movement, ball moving, is that the common theme that you've seen over these last three losses or is there something beyond that?

MONTY WILLIAMS: We have had ball movement in games. There have been games where we haven't made shots. Tonight, we were making shots whenever we wanted to, passes from side to side where the ball moved. There just wasn't enough of that tonight. So that's something that we can correct.

Q. I know you said you got to give Devin a rest at some point, but looking at it do you regret keeping him out for six minutes in the second quarter when they really made a run?

MONTY WILLIAMS: I don't think -- our team defense was so, it wasn't up to par during that time. I'm not quite sure if that would have helped. We had to get stops in that moment. They scored 43 points, we still only scored 24 to combat that. So, you can "if" all day long, but I don't think that was it. I think our team defense was just at a low level at that point.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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