Mike Budenholzer on Giannis' Workload: Playing Him 44 Minutes Isn't the Solution

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2019

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MAY 17:  Head coach Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks meets with Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 in the third quarter against the Toronto Raptors during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at the Fiserv Forum on May 17, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks saw their season end Saturday after their fourth straight loss to the Toronto Raptors, but Mike Budenholzer doesn't agree with a common complaint that Giannis Antetokounmpo isn't playing enough.


"I don't think Giannis playing 44 minutes is the solution." Mike Budenholzer on Giannis' minutes following the Bucks' Game 6 loss. #NBAPlayoffs https://t.co/DpZAVwqV9e

"I don't think Giannis playing 44 minutes is the solution," the Bucks head coach said after the 100-94 Eastern Conference Finals loss. "If we can't win with Giannis at 40, 40.5 [minutes], then Toronto deserves it."

Budenholzer also noted that his All-Star only sat for about three minutes in the entire second half.

Antetokounmpo finished with 41 minutes in the Game 6 loss, finishing with 21 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Milwaukee was plus-three when he was on the court, meaning the team was minus-nine in the seven minutes without him.

No other starter finished with a positive number in the plus-minus category.

The forward saw a big jump in minutes this series, averaging 38.5 over the six games after playing just 34.0 minutes per contest against the Boston Celtics. He was on the court for just 32.7 minutes per game during the regular season, with plenty of blowouts to help ease the load.

As Budenholzer explained, however, it's on the rest of the team to pick up the slack when the star is on the bench. Without more depth next season, the Bucks could have a tough time winning a title.