NBA ‘Needs to Protect’ Giannis, Players from Hits, Says Bucks HC Mike Budenholzer

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NBA ‘Needs to Protect’ Giannis, Players from Hits, Says Bucks HC Mike Budenholzer
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Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (34), center, is fouled as drives to the basket against multiple Portland Trail Blazers defenders during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 21, 2src22, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

AP Photo/Aaron Gash

Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer believes Giannis Antetokoumpo doesn’t get enough respect from officials on the court.

“I just think sometimes the hits that Giannis is taking, the league needs to look at them,” Budenholzer told reporters Monday. “The league needs to protect him.”

The forward got to the free-throw line 12 times in the Bucks’ 119-111 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, although officials only called a common foul after hard contact from both Jerami Grant and Justise Winslow in the third quarter. Even after a review, a flagrant was not given to the Blazers.

Even with Antetokoumpo averaging a career-high 12.8 free-throw attempts per game, it’s clear the superstar takes a lot of big hits as teams try to keep him out of the lane.

Last week, Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid was given a flagrant foul for his hard contact against Giannis:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Refs called this Embiid foul on Giannis a flagrant one.

Right call? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/j40AsyR16T

Giannis discussed taking hard hits after Monday’s game:

“Even though I’ve been taking a lot of hard hits, I always fall down and get up,” the two-time MVP said.

Budenholzer is still clearly concerned about the health of his best player as the Bucks try to contend for another championship.

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