PHOENIX SUNS

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.”

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Owner Robert Sarver of the Phoenix Suns attends the NBA game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Pho...
Arizona Sports

Tumultuous week led to Suns owner Robert Sarver’s decision to sell

A new report details more behind-the-scenes information that resulted in Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver's decision to sell the team.
1 day ago
Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los An...
Kellan Olson

Cam Johnson ready for elevated role with Suns in Jae Crowder’s absence

While Jae Crowder's impact will be missed, Phoenix Suns wing Cam Johnson has proven he's ready and deserves to be a starter.
1 day ago
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Deandre Ayton #22 in the second half of ga...
Dan Bickley

Silence between Deandre Ayton, Monty Williams defies all expectations

The indifference of Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams is stunning. So much that it must be the entire point, writes Dan Bickley.
1 day ago
Deandre Ayton #22 and Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns react during Game Four of the W...
Kevin Zimmerman

Deandre Ayton: Monty Williams hasn’t spoken to him since Game 7 vs. Mavs

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton did not quell concerns about his unhappiness at media day Monday. Tuesday made clear there is a problem.
1 day ago
Dallas Mavericks forward Davis Bertans (44) gets fouled by Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) du...
Kevin Zimmerman

What the Suns could get back in a Jae Crowder trade

Five potential landing spots for Jae Crowder and what the Phoenix Suns could get in return for the veteran.
2 days ago
Suns’ Chris Paul: Even Giannis anticipates he’ll miss his free throws