Now that the Milwaukee Bucks hiring of new head coach Mike Budenholzer has settled, let’s take a look at what we can expect from the man.
Dairyland Express is tipping-off a weekly roundtable where we’ll check in with three writers who cover the Milwaukee Bucks. We’ll ask them to give three brief answers to three questions all surrounding a specific topic. This week we focus on Mike Budenholzer.
1. What are Mike Budenholzer’s greatest strengths as a coach?
Chris Young (@chrisyoungj): Having read a countless amount of articles about Coach Bud since the coaching search began, I’m excited to see what he can do with the Bucks’ role players. How great is it now that the possibility of the Bucks drawing up plays to get Tony Snell an open three? To find a way to use Thon Maker effectively?
Budenholzer has a reputation for extracting the most value out of non-star players. That’s not to say Giannis Antetokounmpo won’t still be the guy (he’s still going the the THE guy), but increasing the effectiveness of good role players like Snell, Maker, Sterling Brown and Matthew Dellavedova will be a godsend.
The Milwaukee bench went through its fair share of struggles last season, in part due to injuries, but also due to a general sense of waywardness. Budenholzer will bring the best out of players 10-15 on the Bucks bench. That may not mean much, but it’s another way he can close the yawning gap between the best and worst of Milwaukee.
Brian Sampson (@BrianSampsonNBA): Budenholzer is a great in-game tactician who knows how to play his pieces just right to get the most out of them. He’ll tinker with his game plan throughout the 48-minutes in order to maximize his teams chance at winning.
This will be a welcomed sight for Bucks’ fans, as they so often watch Jason Kidd (and then Joe Prunty) drown in the schematics of the game. Far too frequently, Kidd and Prunty were visibly outmatched and two steps behind their opponents.
Budenholzer will do a great job of keeping his opponent on edge instead of the other way around. Look for him to do some creative things with the team after having all summer to plan for his players.
Mike Wendlandt (@MikeWendlandt): After 19 years in San Antonio, including 17 as an assistant to arguably the greatest coach of all-time, Mike Budenholzer knows how to get a team to play as a single unit, selfless and poised.
During his time in Atlanta, he knew exactly how to use talent like Paul Millsap, Al Horford and Kyle Korver and get them all to buy into his offensive system. Now switch out those three for Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and (hopefully) Jabari Parker. That is a scary scenario.
Beyond that, Budenholzer has shown a knack for developing talent that was overlooked or written off early in a career. Seeing development from guys like Kent Bazemore should inspire confidence for guys like Thon Maker, Sterling Brown, and Shabazz Muhammad to grow exponentially over the next season, and Budenholzer is a big reason why