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Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer thinks Giannis Antetokounmpo can play with more force

Bucks, Mike Budenholzer, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer had a hard time diagnosis what went wrong in a 118-112 double-overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 3, but a quick look at the stat sheet brought forth some concern. His star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, only got to the free throw line seven times in 45 minutes of action before fouling out throughout the last stretch of the game, something Bud felt would need to change moving forward.

“It feels like (Antetokounmpo) could get to the free-throw line more,” said Budenholzer, suggesting he should play with even more force in Game 4, according to Kane Pitman of PickAndRoll.com

Antetokounmpo struggled with his shot, putting up only 12 points to go with his game-high 23 rebounds, seven assists, a steal and four blocks — yet only two of those points came from the free-throw line, as he made 2-of-7 from the charity stripe, including a disappointing airball that had the Scotiabank Arena blasting The Greek Freak for the gaffe.

Giannis’ night wasn’t any different from the field, shooting only 5-of-16 from the floor and 0-for-3 from deep. Sunday night wasn’t any more kind to teammates Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe, who both shot 3-of-16 respectively — part of a 37.3% shooting night for the struggling Bucks.

Antetokounmpo is by far leading all players with 139 free-throw attempts this postseason — an average of 11.6 per night — yet he is only converting in 66.2% of them. That number is visibly worse than the 72.9% he shot from the stripe this season and the 76% success rate he had in 2017-18, though attempting one less per game.

The Bucks were mired with plenty of issues, including their turnovers and some poor shot selection, yet one thing remains true — Giannis played the most minutes of any game this postseason, yet netted only two points from the foul line — by far the worst of this postseason stretch.