Suns’ Chris Paul: Even Giannis anticipates he’ll miss his free throws

Jul 17, 2021, 11:44 PM

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a free throw as Chris Paul #3 of the Phoeni...

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots a free throw as Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns watches during the second half in Game Two of the NBA finals at Phoenix Suns Arena on July 08, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

It’s pretty obvious when Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is at the free throw line, especially when he’s shooting on the road.

Footprint Center on Saturday night’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals was no exception, as the raucous Phoenix Suns crowd continued to count during the two-time MVP’s routine at the charity stripe.

Milwaukee was 9-of-17 from the free throw line (52.9%) in the Bucks’ 123-119 win. Antetokounmpo went 4-for-11 (36.4%) from the charity stripe on the night.

“Everybody’s out there anticipating a miss. Hell, even he is,” Suns point guard Chris Paul said postgame.

But even when the Bucks missed their free throws, the Suns struggled to grab the rebound, giving Milwaukee second-chance opportunities late in the game.

“We got to keep trying to box out,” Paul said. “And with his length, he tipped the ball up in the air — ain’t too much you can do.”

“That was a horrible miss,” Suns center Deandre Ayton added postgame. “It was just an athletic play. He tipped it behind him knowing that his teammates are there. It was a bad miss.”

Antetokounmpo said he can live with missing his free throw attempts because he did what he always does and went through his routine, even when the likes of the Suns’ crowd and players did their best to get the two-time MVP off his game at the charity stripe.

“Sometimes I go to the free throw line and I’m nervous a little bit, but this time, I wasn’t nervous at all because I was so dialed in. I just missed,” he said.

“But there’s going to be times that they are going to talk, the opposing players are going to talk, the crowd is going to yell. But just got to keep playing through that. Keep playing, keep your composure and just keep trying to do whatever is possible to help the team win.”

Phoenix Suns

Former Suns head coach Monty Williams...

Arizona Sports

Report: Pistons agree to deal with former Suns HC Monty Williams

Former Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams has agreed to a six-year deal worth $72 million to coach the Detroit Pistons.

1 day ago

Fans of the Phoenix Suns poses for photos outside of Footprint Center before Game Three of the NBA ...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix City Council vote passes to support Suns’ All-Star bids

The Phoenix City Council had a 9-0 vote on Wednesday in favor of supporting the bids from the Suns and Mercury to host All-Star games.

1 day ago

Bob Myers, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors GM...

Associated Press

Dynasty architect Bob Myers departs Golden State Warriors

Bob Myers is departing as president and GM of the Golden State Warriors after building a team that captured four titles in eight years.

2 days ago

Doc Rivers, Suns head coaching candidates...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns’ list of head-coaching candidates down to 3

The Phoenix Suns have narrowed their head-coaching search to Doc Rivers, Frank Vogel and Kevin Young, reports Arizona Sports' John Gambadoro.

2 days ago

Boston Celtics guard Derrick White walks to the bench after being take out of the game in the closi...

Associated Press

Heat finish off Celtics for Game 7 victory and a spot in NBA Finals

The Miami Heat beat the Celtics 103-84, turning back Boston’s attempt at an unprecedented comeback from a 3-0 deficit.

2 days ago

Former Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, Bucks and Suns coaching candidate...

Arizona Sports

Suns coaching options continue to dwindle as Nurse reportedly joins 76ers

Former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is joining the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, further narrowing the candidates available for the top job in Phoenix.

3 days ago

Suns’ Chris Paul: Even Giannis anticipates he’ll miss his free throws