Milwaukee Bucks new head coach Mike Budenholzer deserves a lot of the credit for the team’s quick turnaround this season and should be awarded properly.
The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the best surprises in the NBA this season and a lot of the credit is due to new head coach Mike Budenholzer. Budenholzer took over a talented, but imperfect roster last Summer and has quickly turned them into a polished product on the court.
The Bucks finished 44-38 last season on their way to a first-round exit in the playoffs. The front office didn’t make any drastic changes to the roster, as they only made minor tweaks. Jabari Parker left and in his place, Milwaukee signed Brook Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova and Pat Connaughton as well as drafting Donte DiVincenzo. Nothing groundbreaking.
However, the best move they could’ve made was bringing in Budenholzer.
Budenholzer had tremendous success with a less talented Atlanta Hawks team. As a prodigy of Gregg Popovich, the Bucks front office hoped he could bring some of that magic to Milwaukee along with modern schemes.
As soon as Budenholzer arrived in Milwaukee, he encouraged the team to shoot threes. From Eric Bledsoe to Giannis Antetokounmpo to John Henson. Everyone was expected to contribute from the outside. And the spacing has done wonders for this team.
The players know to run to their spots in transition and the whole offense flows from there. Along with outside shooting, Budenholzer has also emphasized spacing, off-ball player movement and ball movement. The trio of principles has allowed the Bucks to maximize their skill level so far.
Despite playing the most difficult schedule to begin the season, the Bucks are 10-3 and in second place in the Eastern Conference. Even more impressive, those 10 wins include victories over the Toronto Raptors and at the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets.
Budenholzer’s coaching job has been the most impressive aspect about the new-look Bucks. At this point in the season, the NBA should just call the race for the Coach of the Year award and hand it to Budenholzer.