The Milwaukee Bucks inexplicably finds itself on the point of elimination by the hands of the Miami Warmth – down 0-Three of their second spherical sequence. That is definitely a stunning growth, contemplating the Bucks dominated the common season, very like they did final yr. And in the midst of the all of the insanity is Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer.
If the Warmth pull off the sweep on Sunday, the Bucks ought to give head coach Mike Budenholzer the pink slip if their season ends in probably the most embarrassing of fashions.
This isn’t to discredit all the pieces Miami has accomplished to outplay Milwaukee and take full management of this sequence. Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, and firm have accomplished an amazing job in enjoying lovely basketball on each ends of the ground. Furthermore, quickly to be 2-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has definitely acquired his fair proportion of criticism for his struggles on this sequence. Nonetheless, lots of the blame ought to go on final season’s NBA Coach of the 12 months.
The Bucks play a technique and Budenholzer appears adamant on sticking to his ideas the remainder of the way in which.
Taking part in one recreation plan can convey large success within the common season. Budenholzer’s common season resume exhibits that. He led the Atlanta Hawks to a 60-win season in his first teaching gig. Now, he has led the Bucks to the perfect file within the league in his two seasons in Milwaukee.
Nonetheless, this tactic merely gained’t work within the postseason, the place groups can focus in and attempt to exploit potential weaknesses. Going with the identical assault again and again has made Milwaukee predictable. And clearly, for a sensible coach like Eric Spoelstra, he’ll discover a method to counter this assault and carry on exploiting it.
This is without doubt one of the most important the explanation why the Bucks additionally fell to the Toronto Raptors in final yr’s Japanese Convention Finals. Nick Nurse’s switched it up in Recreation Three of that sequence. Budenholzer by no means countered and adjusted, and the Bucks misplaced the 4 straight to get bounced in six video games.
As soon as once more, Budenholzer’s unwillingness to diversify his assault has led them to this predicament. Whereas they’ll nonetheless edge out a win on this sequence, it’s exhausting to see them, even for a traditionally good staff just like the Bucks, pull off the miracle of miracles and are available again from a 0-Three gap.
Living proof is Budenholzer’s unwillingness to play his greatest gamers extra. The 2-time Coach of the 12 months normally goes deep into his bench and performs his reserves prolonged minutes all through the common season. Ideally, this is able to be an amazing tactic to maintain his greatest gamers contemporary for the postseason run.
However that doesn’t appear to be his intentions for conserving Antetokounmpo and Middleton’s minutes down all through the season. He continues to deploy his common lineups, and his most important stars haven’t seen an uptick in enjoying time in any respect.
Antetokounmpo and Middleton are seeing simply 35 minutes an evening. And it doesn’t appear to be he’s going to make any adjustments in Recreation 4, even when Milwaukee’s season — and even maybe, his job — is on its final string. For Budenholzer, giving them these minutes his already “pushing the ceiling.”
Budenholzer says Giannis/Middleton playign 35-36 minutes is “pushing the ceiling”…wow
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) September 5, 2020
That is completely head-scratching. Does Bud even know we’re within the playoffs already? Is he purposely attempting to get himself fired? That is merely inexcusable on Budenholzer’s half. Coaches normally tighten their rotations throughout the playoffs and deploy their greatest gamers.
Simply have a look at the Raptors. Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet all performed over 40 minutes of their should win Recreation Three and in addition Recreation Four in opposition to the Boston Celtics. Heck, Lowry, at 34 years outdated, is averaging 41 minutes all through the sequence. Budenholzer’s most likely wanting baffled at that portion of the stat sheet.
Milwaukee’s season is actually accomplished. Even when they dwell to combat one other day, Mike Budenholzer undoubtedly must go. The Giannis sweepstakes are inevitably going to cloud them all through the low season. And they should make this transformation as they go all out of their year-long bid to persuade The Greek Freak to remain in Milwaukee.