Milwaukee Bucks to address head coach Mike Budenholzer’s future after NBA Finals


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 19 July, 2021 - 03:37pm 36 views

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“We'll deal with it at the end of the year,” Lasry said. “Nobody has talked about it.”

The Bucks head coach had been under heavy scrutiny nationally since the team fell to Toronto in the 2019 Eastern Conference finals and his job had been reported to be in jeopardy as late as May and again after falling behind 2-0 to Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

"There was no truth to it,” Lasry said of the reports. “But what ends up happening is you can't sort of listen to what the media is talking about because they were going to write what they need to write. I just felt bad for ‘Bud.’ That was really it. How would you like to be reading about yourself, people saying it's over. I get it. It's part of the business we're all in. I think it was hard for him." 

Budenholzer was named the 2018-19 Coach of the Year after leading the Bucks to a regular-season best 60-22 mark in his first year on the bench, but the Bucks surrendered a 2-0 Eastern Conference Finals lead to Toronto to eventually lose in six games. The Bucks marched to a 56-17 regular-season mark last year before exiting the playoffs in the second round of the “bubble” against Miami.

The Bucks had changed their offense this year and experimented with different defenses, and put together an offense that set a franchise record for points per game at 120.1, a number not seen in the league since 1984-85.

The team defense was not as strong as the previous two seasons, but the Bucks still finished the year No. 9 in defensive rating. The Bucks ended the regular season as the No. 3 seed in the East with a 46-26 record and advance to their first Finals since 1974.

On April 19, general manager Jon Horst gave Budenholzer an endorsement, citing the adjustments the coach was making as well as managing a significant change in roster construction in a unique year due to COVID-19 protocols.

But on May 2, The Athletic reported Budenholzer would likely be fired if the team did not have a deep playoff run.

At the end of that series, Brooklyn star Kevin Durant said the Bucks adjusted well throughout and Bucks players were complimentary of their head coach in getting them to the Finals.

“He's doing whatever it takes but also trusting us out there,” Khris Middleton said after the Eastern Conference championship round. “We have an idea about what we need to do and he trusts us. That's all you want in a coach, especially the players that are out there, they see it a little different and feel it a little different. When we come up with suggestions, he listens to us and trusts us with it.”

Budenholzer, 51, was hired by the Bucks on May 17, 2018.

He was the fastest coach in franchise history to reach 100 and 150 victories and currently holds a 162-65 regular-season record. He is tied with Scott Skiles for the fifth-most wins in team history and his .714 winning percentage is easily the best in the franchise.

Under Budenholzer’s direction, Antetokounmpo developed into a three-time first-team all-NBA player, and a two-time Most Valuable and Defensive Player of the Year. Middleton became a two-time all-star while Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday joined Antetokounmpo as All-Defensive team members.

"Jason (Kidd) helped in the beginning and ‘Bud’ has taken us to the next level,” Lasry said. “I think our GM has done a phenomenal job. Please give him credit for a lot of this because here's a young kid who has stepped up and become a great GM in the last four or five years.

"Credit goes to the people who brought us where we are. Jon did a gutsy trade in Jrue Holiday. If you sort of think about it, what we've got is a great team."

Read full article at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Bucks Big 3 in the last 3 games (all wins):

Turns out the Bucks have 3 Batmans.

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Get used to seeing Giannis on this stage, folks

ESPN 19 July, 2021 - 07:00am

Giannis Antetokounmpo is dominating. The two-time MVP just became the fourth player ever to average 30 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 60% shooting over a five-game span within a single postseason, joining Tim Duncan, Charles Barkley and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. But, unlike those other legends, Antetokounmpo is the only one who has done that during the NBA Finals.

Amazingly, just two weeks ago there were questions about whether the Milwaukee Bucks superstar would even be able to play in the Finals. He'd suffered a scary knee injury that kept him out of the final two games against the Atlanta Hawks, and he even said he thought his season was over. After looking shaky in his first game back, he has put an emphatic stamp on each of the past four games. As Antetokounmpo has rounded back into form, so have the Bucks, who have won three consecutive games after falling behind 2-0 in the series and are now just one home win away from their first title in 50 years.

The last time Milwaukee won it all, they had another pretty good young star on their squad. Antetokounmpo may not be Abdul-Jabbar, but they do have one big thing in common. They propelled their squads to wins with a simple formula: dominating the paint on both ends of the floor. And it's a formula that, more often than not, portends repeated success on the game's biggest stage.

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