Erik Spoelstra was confused by Mike Budenholzer’s big blunder in regulation of Game 5 between Heat and Bucks

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Few people in the NBA had rougher nights on Wednesday than Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer.

The 53-year-old made some puzzling decisions down the stretch of his team’s Game 5 clash with the Miami Heat, and one of his moves even caught Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra off guard.

According to Max Strus, Spoelstra was surprised when Budenholzer opted not to call a timeout after Miami tied the game with less than a second remaining in regulation.

There was 0.5 seconds on the clock after Jimmy Butler tied the game at the end of regulation. The Bucks had one timeout remaining and could have used it to advance the ball and draw up a play. Instead, they didn’t even get a shot off.

To make matters worse for the Bucks, there was another situation in overtime where Budenholzer likely would have been wise to use a timeout.

With about 10 seconds remaining in overtime, Milwaukee was down by two and had a chance to tie the game after securing a rebound on the defensive end. The Bucks had two timeouts in their pocket and once again could have used one to slow things down and reset.

Instead, Budenholzer ushered for Giannis Antetokounmpo to push the ball up the floor. Crazier decisions have certainly been made — Antetokounmpo is very hard to slow down when he gets going downhill — but when the superstar ran into a wall on the other end, the possession completely broke down, and Budenholzer still opted against using one of his timeouts.

Once more, the Bucks didn’t get a shot off.

It was a perfect storm for Miami, as the team walked away with an improbable 128-126 win. The Heat are now preparing to face the New York Knicks in the next round, while the Bucks — who many viewed as the best team in the Eastern Conference before the playoffs — are done for the season.

Budenholzer is a championship-winning coach, but Game 5 was certainly a night to forget for him. If he’s back with the Bucks in the 2023-24 season, he’ll look to erase the pain of the 2023 playoffs by getting his squad back to the promised land.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.