Bucks Make Major Coaching Shakeup After Playoff Loss

The Milwaukee Bucks make a big decision about their coaching staff for next season.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks finished the 2023-24 campaign on a disappointing note, falling to the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs. The injuries to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard naturally proved to be too big to overcome. Obviously, since the season started as championship-or-bust, questions are being raised about where the Bucks go from here.

Interestingly, it seems like the fact that the injuries were the main reason the Bucks lost early, likely saved Doc Rivers' job. Rivers did a horrendous job in Milwaukee after taking over from Adrian Griffin, finishing with a 17-19 record. However, he now has a very legitimate excuse for the first-round exit.

Some of his assistant coaches, however, aren't so lucky. According to the initial reporting by Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes which was later confirmed, the Bucks have fired three of their assistant coaches.

Bucks Fire Three of Doc Rivers' Assistant Coaches

The coaches that were dismissed were DJ Bakker, Sidney Dobney, and Josh Oppenheimer. Dobner and Oppenheimer have been with the team for a couple of years and Bakker was hired by Adrian Griffin to begin the season.

This move suggests that Doc Rivers is still working to build his coaching staff. He is letting go of the old guard who represented Mike Budenholzer and Adrian Griffin to install coaches he likes to work with. He had already added Dave Joerger, Rex Kalamian, and Pete Dominguez when he took over mid-season.

It is certainly a curious decision to allow Rivers to shape his coaching staff according to his needs after he failed so miserably with the Bucks. Perhaps there is a feeling in the top brass of the organization that the team has a chance to significantly improve next season. Maybe Antetokounmpo and Lillard want to keep Rivers around. Or maybe it's just a financially motivated decision.

Regardless of what the reasons are, Rivers has to do a much better job next season to ensure the Bucks don't regret this decision.

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