Budenholzer defends usage of Giannis: 35, 36 minutes is 'pushing the ceiling'

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Giannis Antetokounmpo's playing time has been a hot topic throughout the second round and was at the forefront once again following the Milwaukee Bucks' 115-100 Game 3 loss to the Miami Heat.

The reigning MVP logged just 35 minutes in Friday's defeat, yet Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer has no issue with Antetokounmpo's usage or teammate Khris Middleton's time on the court.

"You gotta be good for the last 12 (minutes). If anything, I think keeping us fresh and ready to go and compete and all those things and Khris (Middleton) was in a little bit of foul trouble," Budenholzer told reporters, according to The Athletic's Eric Nehm. "You know, it's a high level (of basketball). If you're going as hard as these guys are in a playoff game, 35, 36 (minutes), I think that's pushing the ceiling."

Budenholzer added the team's medical staff cleared Antetokounmpo after his right ankle tweak in the first quarter, according to Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Greek Freak says he wasn't bothered by the injury during Friday's contest but was limping as he walked out of the arena, Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reports.

Antetokounmpo finished with 21 points on just 7-of-21 shooting, including an 0-for-7 mark from deep. He entered Game 3 averaging 33 minutes per game across seven postseason appearances.

Game 4 is scheduled for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. No NBA team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.

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Budenholzer defends usage of Giannis: 35, 36 minutes is 'pushing the ceiling'
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