Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, but he wasn’t the one marking Jimmy Butler as the Miami Heat swingman undressed Milwaukee.
And for a simple reason: Mike Budenholzer didn’t tell him to.
Butler had a career night against the Bucks on Monday as the Miami Heat beat the Bucks 115-104 in Game 1 of their second-round NBA Playoffs series. Butler finished his night with 40 points.
Antetokounmpo was asked after the game if he wanted to switch onto Butler to defend the Heat forward. His response was curious, to say the least.
That drew the ire of Isaiah Thomas.
“As a competitor and DPOY that?s your job to take that assignment,” Thomas wrote on Twitter. “I know Marcus smart, Avery Bradley, kawhi woulda been like (get out of here) I?m guarding him.”
The argument Thomas seems to be getting at is Antetokounmpo should’ve pulled Budenholzer aside and said that he would be guarding Butler. The argument could be made that they play different positions, but at a certain point you might just have to try it.
The Bucks now will go back to the drawing board with Game 2 set for Wednesday at 6;30 p.m. ET.