2. What are Budenholzer’s greatest weaknesses as a coach?
Chris Young: This is a bit hard to settle on. In his time in Atlanta, the Hawks were only a sub .500 team twice – his first and last seasons. He’s been known to use a trapping scheme that might induce anxiety and increased blood pressure among certain sections of Bucks’ Twitter, but it’s disingenuous to assume he would be as stubborn as Jason Kidd in refusing to change certain aspects of his coaching philosophy.
The one thing that stands out is that Budenholzer has never coached an individual star at the level of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Coach Bud obviously has experience with the league’s best through the likes of Tim Duncan and Al Horford, but Antetokounmpo is something else entirely. How he’s able to manage that transition, both on the court and off, will be one of the most crucial aspects of this hire.
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Brian Sampson: To build off what Chris said, Budenholzer’s relationship with Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and whomever else will go a long way in determining his success with this franchise.
I know it’s a long way away, but people are already whispering about Antetokounmpo’s pending free agency in three years. Before that, however, Middleton will be a free agent as well. The team will certainly want to keep those two players and how Budenholzer pperforms on the court and in the locker room in creating his relationships with tose players will go a long way in determining whether they re-sign.
Mike Wendlandt: For a coach that started out so strong in Atlanta, including winning Coach of the Year in 2014-2015, Budenholzer seemed to regress over his last few years in Atlanta. Whether it was the departure of guys like Horford and Korver or his plateauing as a teacher and mentor will be seen in the next year or two. But it has to be alarming that the Hawks were never able to break over the plateau of a “fine” team in a woeful Eastern Conference after 2015. That signifies that Budenholzer’s message could get stale, much like Jason Kidd, Terry Stotts, Scott Skiles, and George Karl before him.
Beyond that, Budenholzer can rely a lot on the outside shot, especially from his forwards. Millsap during his time in Atlanta was able to be more of an outside threat, but beyond Jabari Parker, there isn’t anyone like that on the Bucks right now. Budenholzer will need to find some more shooting from his depth or change his style to suit the team.