“I want to play more”: Giannis Antetokounmpo at odds with Mike Budenholzer over playing time vs Heat

Samir Mehdi
|Published September 05, 2020

Mike Budenholzer remains firm on his stance of playing Giannis Antetokounmpo less than 37 minutes, Giannis feels differently.

Milwaukee Bucks head coach, Mike Budenholzer has been adamant on not playing his superstar player, upwards of 37 minutes, let alone 40 minutes, in this series.

In the 20+ Playoff games Budenholzer has coached Giannis in, Giannis has only played 40+ minutes once, in a non-OT game.

Also read: “Would love to play 48 minutes”: Giannis Antetokounmpo sends message to Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer

Why isn’t Coach Bud playing Giannis heavy minutes?

When  asked about why he isn’t allowing the 2019 MVP to play heavy minutes, Coach Bud responded saying, “That would be pushing the ceiling.” However, it is unclear what the ceiling even is as Giannis has not suffered a major injury in recent memory.

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Giannis, when asked about his peculiar minutes restriction, he said that he wants to play upwards of 40 minutes in a game and that the ankle he injured in Game 3, “feels great.”

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Giannis wasn’t even the Buck how played the most amount of minutes as Brook Lopez led all Bucks in minutes played, in Game 3.

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Giannis injured his ankle in the first quarter in Game 3 on a foul by Goran Dragic, so perhaps that may have been the reason as to why he played less minutes today, but it does not explain why he was on a minutes restriction in Games 1 and 2.

Should Budenholzer play Giannis more minutes?

Budenholzer should absolutely play Giannis more minutes. The Greek Freak has openly stated on multiple occasions that he wants to.

In an astounding stat, Jamal Murray played just 2 minutes less than Giannis, in the Denver Nuggets’s Game 1 against the Los Angeles Clippers, even though it was a blowout win for the Clippers.

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With the Bucks being down 3-0, Budenholzer has no other choice other than to roll the dice and play Giannis more minutes, and live with the outcome.

No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the Playoffs.

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About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi is an NBA Editor at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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