Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo spoke with the media following the Bucks' 104-99 loss to the Indiana Pacers about adjustments teams are making to him handling the ball more, his new routine at the free-throw line and more.
According to coach Jason Kidd, the league had recently notified the Bucks that referees would no longer be allowing Antetokounmpo to go through his long free throw routine, which has typically taken longer than the 10 seconds allowed by NBA rules. Opposing fans and even benches have at times audibly counted past ten to draw attention to it, but officials had never whistled him for a violation. It's an exceedingly rare call, though Karl Malone and Dwight Howard are among the players who have forfeited free throws in the past.
Giannis had since sped up his routine in recent weeks, but not without affecting his performance from the stripe. Antetokounmpo entered Wednesday's game shooting just 53% from the line since the all-star break, including an ugly 4/11 performance in Monday's win over Houston. He bounced back by hitting all eight of his free throws on Wednesday, though in the process he once again took more than ten seconds on a number of his attempts.
"I felt a lot better because I took my time. I tried to breathe and tried to rest and take my time. They went in today."