Bucks Make Big Mistake With Coaching Staff After Disappointing Playoff Exit

The Milwaukee Bucks are making a big mistake regarding their coaching staff for next season.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

After the disappointing first-round loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Milwaukee Bucks went through immediate changes to the coaching staff. They fired three assistant coaches on Doc Rivers' staff on Friday, losing key holdovers from the Mike Budenholzer and Adrian Griffin eras. This gives Rivers an opportunity to construct the coaching staff he desires this offseason.

After going 17-19 in the regular season during the Doc Rivers era, it was clear that something needed to change in Milwaukee. Some Bucks fans were hoping for the end of the Rivers era but it looks like he will be given even more authority as he is re-designing his staff on the sidelines.

The Rivers hire was a controversial one, to begin with. At the time of his firing, Adrian Griffin was 30-13. He was unfairly criticized despite being a first-time head coach. Rivers, who consistently disappointed in the postseason in his previous stops, was an eyebrow-raising decision.

Interestingly, the injuries to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard may have saved Doc Rivers' job. The veteran head coach can now point to those injuries as an excuse for the first-round loss.

It is not like he doesn't have a point. The Bucks presumably would have beaten the Pacers if they were fully healthy.

At the same time, Milwaukee never looked like a championship-caliber team under Rivers. Initially, the defense showed some improvement, but never got to the elite level it was at under Mike Budenholzer. Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo never quite found the chemistry the team was hoping for, leaving the offense predictable and easy to slow down.

Perhaps, things can look better next season. If Lillard and Giannis wanted Rivers to stay, it's understandable that the Bucks would want to keep him around. It can't be denied, however, that it's a risky decision that Milwaukee might regret.

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