Mike Budenholzer on Giannis: 'It Was Miserable Coaching Against Him'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2018

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbles during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics Friday, April 20, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

New Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was overjoyed Monday during his introductory press conference that he no longer has to go up against Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

According to Genaro C. Armas of the Associated Press, the former Atlanta Hawks head coach described how difficult it was to stop the Greek Freak: "It was miserable coaching against him, and I'm so happy to be [saying], '34's on my team?' That's like really cool. He's a nightmare to coach against, to game-plan, to figure out how you can keep him away from the basket."

Budenholzer is taking over a Bucks team that has reached the playoffs in each of the past two seasons thanks largely to Antetokounmpo's contributions.

Antetokounmpo is coming off his best season, as the two-time All-Star averaged 26.9 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game in 2017-18. He also shot a career-best 52.9 percent from the field.

Additionally, Giannis helped the Bucks push the Boston Celtics to seven games in the first round of the playoffs with averages of 25.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 6.3 assists.

Antetokounmpo faced Budenholzer and the Hawks three times last season, and the results weren't pretty for Atlanta, as he put up 27.0 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per contest.

After leading the Hawks to the playoffs in four straight seasons, Budenholzer was undermanned in 2017-18, which resulted in Atlanta's 24-58 finish.

Budenholzer will have much more talent at his disposal in Milwaukee with the likes of Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon surrounding Antetokounmpo.

With Budenholzer and Giannis leading the way, the Bucks have a strong chance to advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2000-01.

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