Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was once an assistant to Gregg Popovich with the Spurs, so it’s no surprise Budenholzer contacted Popovich seeking advice ahead of the NBA Finals.
Budenholzer didn’t get the response he was hoping for, though. Popovich apparently told Budenholzer he’ll have to “figure it out on (his) own.”
Given how much the NBA has changed since the Spurs head coach was in the Finals, it’s no surprise he left Budenholzer without an answer.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, who was a Spurs assistant, joked Gregg Popovich has simply told him “you have to figure it out on your own” than relying on him for any Finals advice.
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 5, 2021
The Milwaukee Bucks, the Eastern Conference champions, will face a red-hot Phoenix Suns team in the NBA Finals. Phoenix beat the Lakers in six games, the Nuggets in four and the Clippers in six to advance to the championship series.
The Bucks, meanwhile, swept the Heat, took down the Nets in seven games and beat the Hawks in six.
Both teams had a bit of luck on their side leading up to the NBA Finals. The Suns beat a Lakers team that was without Anthony Davis, a Nuggets team without Jamal Murray and a Clippers team without Kawhi Leonard. The Bucks got past a Nets team that was never with at full strength.
Regardless, both teams emerged victorious from their respective conferences, which is never an easy task.
The Bucks’ key to stopping Phoenix revolves around slowing down the Suns’ mid-range attack. Devin Booker and Chris Paul rely on the mid-range to support their offensive game. If Milwaukee finds a way to disrupt such an attack, it’ll be in a good spot.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals commences Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.