What did the Suns’ Monty Williams have to say about referees, free throws and Giannis?
Though they recently added one of the league’s best players to an already talented roster, the Suns can’t catch a break and their coach isn’t happy about that.
Tuesday night’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks was a bitter pill to swallow for the Phoenix Suns and their coach, Monty Williams, made it absolutely crystal clear that he didn’t like the taste of it after the game to an end.
Suns’ Monty Williams rips referees after loss to Bucks
On Tuesday night, the Phoenix Suns lost 116-104 against the Milwaukee Bucks. With both teams being heavyweights in the NBA, one might not see that result as reason for alarm, but if you listened to Suns head coach, Monty Williams, after the game,there were definitely some issues that he felt created the difference between the two teams. First and foremost, was the way in which the game was called and more specifically, where Giannis Antetokounmpo was concerned.
“It’s just not fair,” Williams said post game. “[Devin Booker] has three free throws, and Jrue Holiday is one of the most physical defenders in the game and he has three. Giannis [Antetokounmpo] has 24 free throws. It is ridiculous. There is no other way to put it. ...That’s hard to swallow when one guy [has so many free throws]. And this has happened a number of times when we play them. So, for me it’s hard to tell our guys to keep their level of poise, because that’s frustrating. They beat us, make no mistake about it, but that is a hard one to swallow. It’s happened too many times.”
Does Monty Williams have a point?
Here’s the thing: it’s par for the course that when a team loses, players and coaches lament decisions that didn’t go in their favor. On the other hand, even a casual glance at the numbers from the game would likely give you reason to side with Williams’ view. Across the contest, the Suns were called for 26 fouls in total. The Bucks on the other hand, had the whistle blown for their infractions on 15 occasions. While it may be easy to assume that one team played dirtier than the other, it’s important to note that the Bucks went to the line 37 times, as opposed to the Suns who made the trip just 16 times. To be clear, that’s a difference of 21 which if were honest, is an eye-brow-raising difference. Where Giannis himself was concerned, the ‘Greek Freak’ had 24 attempts which as you can see if more than the Suns in total.
Monty Williams has been here before
If you’ve been following, you will know that this is the second time in recent days that Williams has taken issue with the number of free throws awarded to opponents. On Saturday night, the Suns lost 128-119 to the Sacramento Kings and during the game Williams and his charges had to watch as the Kings went to the line on 37 occasions while they made the trip just 22 times.
“I thought we were not as sound as we needed to be to play against a really good offensive team,” Williams said following the loss. “We hung in there, but we just didn’t have the level of game plan discipline that it takes it takes to win a game like that. And we just kept fouling. They had 37 free throws, I think. That’s a lot of free throws. And it was a physical game... It’s pretty obvious that there were some calls that didn’t go out way, and there were a number of calls that went their way.” Ultimately, the jury is out on this one. The discrepancy does beg a question, but could it simply be the case that Williams’ team lacks discipline when it comes to fouls? Either way, with a fine all but certain, he will have some time to reflect in the coming days.