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July 20, 2021

Mike Budenholzer

Milwaukee Bucks

Game 6: Pregame

Q. The other day P.J. was talking about how it's the NBA Finals but he's still trying to learn the Bucks language, like he doesn't quite know it yet, and he said some of the guys will yell at him. We have been talking a lot about like talking, do you think it's easier for like a guy like Khris or Giannis to be like actually you got that one wrong, P.J., and that's their way into talking or what is that process like, like it's the NBA Finals and he's still screwing up the language?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: It's never easy to tell P.J. something like that. So, P.J. is a force to be reckoned with and it's been great for us and I do think, to your question, I think the fact that these guys have to, whether it's P.J. or Jeff or even amongst themselves and Bobby, like the level of communication has to be high level. We all have to speak the same language and I mean even the great American language, we screw it up all the time and we're confused. When you ask me a question I have no idea what you're talking about.

So, it happens in the games but I think the more they're talking, the more they work on it, I think it's been a good thing and P.J.'s voice is just incredible. His desire to get things right and to get a stop on every possession, it carries over to all of us, and so I think all that's been good and healthy for us.

Q. Can you tell us what type of music you're listening to? What's the big secret?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: Nope. It's very boring, I don't want people to realize how boring I am, but I think they figured it out a long time ago.

Q. Trying to get back to basketball for just a second, I'm curious as well though. Coach, what are the message or what things, what are key points you feel like are key for tonight?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: We kind of used the phrase just got to go play basketball, you got to make winning plays, defensively there's all kinds of opportunities to compete and make winning plays on that end of the court offensively, play together and just keep them in that mindset to compete, play together, play basketball, but it's really the same message they have been hearing on a regular basis for a long time and that's what we need tonight.

Q. Obviously, you were with Pop for so long and experienced these closeouts in a Finals, is there anything that you saw in those experiences that's even helping you tonight or does that even relish or even relate right now?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: No, I mean I think we have been talking about experience helps with everything. So just to be able to talk about -- we just need to go play basketball and having been there and seen it and been on both sides of it, if you're in this league a long time, you see everything and feel everything.

So, I feel very fortunate and just to understand that it's just the most important thing is to go out and compete, go out and play and I think our guys will do that.

Q. There's kind of much more of a crowd tonight than there is usually for a basketball game. I don't know where you guys all generally live in the area, but did you have to have any kind of talk about leave your house earlier or don't come the way you normally come because you might not get there?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: Yeah, no. I mean, I know it's percolating and they have got the Deer District, going to have a lot of people, but we did not talk about that, so hopefully guys are here and safe and ready to go.

Q. You've talked a bunch about trying to disconnect a little bit and stay back from things whether you’re listening to your secret music or whatever, but there is a lot of obviously excitement, anticipation in the city the past couple days. You mentioned what the crowds seemed like outside. Do you feel like you guys have been able to kind of stay away from that and kind of be able to stay in a bubble in sorts or is it sort of seeped in over the past couple days as kind of what is at stake tonight?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: No, I mean I think the best we can, to the best of our ability, I think the guys are very much in their routines, just kind of in the moment, just preparing to play. So, I think they're in a good spot that way.

Q. We have been talking a lot about how the players feel and how they're going to sort of react to this atmosphere. Do you feel any nervousness, considering you only have so much control over the outcome of this game from the standpoint that you have the coaching butterflies in your stomach at this point or are you just kind of trying to be still right now?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: I have the coaching butterflies for Game 1 of the regular season. I have the coaching butterflies for training camp. That's part of what makes coaching great. You're not out there, you just want to help and try and put the players in the best position they can. So, you kind of just get used to dealing with it and it's kind of the norm. Certainly understand it's a big game and so on and so forth, but that kind of competitiveness, that kind of wanting to help, it's kind of I think what we all are used to as coaches and the players the same.

Q. You talked about the key just being competing and viewing it like another basketball game, but on your opponent is in a win-or-go-home situation. How important is it for the guys to try to play with that same desperation and urgency, even though you all are in a different situation?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: No, I mean competing, you got to draw on your competitive nature. When you're a competitor you want to win regardless of the situation, regardless of score and all that stuff. We have got great competitive locker room, great competitors and they're going to pull on that spirit and that's what it's going to take.

Q. Wondering what the vibe and the energy of the team has been like since the Game 5 win like leading up to now, going into this potential series-clinching game at home?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: I mean, it's been very similar to the vibe between other games and it's a pretty steady group. I mean, they enjoy each other, they give each other a hard time, they get their laughs in, they get their work in and really between Game 5 and now has been a lot of the same. It looks and feels the same and the guys are preparing and getting ready to play.

Q. Given that you are one win away from winning it all, what would you say has been on one hand the most difficult thing about coaching this team and on the other one the most rewarding?

MIKE BUDENHOLZER: I don't think now's the time to talk about either of those things. It's a great team, we're excited about going and playing, there's nothing that's difficult and everything that's rewarding about this team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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