After Mike Budenholzer and the Atlanta Hawks mutually parted ways with each other following the season it was apparent that the stars could possibly align to bring Budenholzer to Milwaukee over the offseason. A recent report by the New York Post has Budenholzer linked to a meeting with the Bucks.
Budenholzer, a branch off the Greg Popovich tree, is regarded as one of top coaches in terms of getting the most of the hand dealt to him.
NOTE* Lets set the record straight, If you want to argue Budenholzer is a bad hire based on his poor record this season. Don’t. The Hawks are a shell of what they used to be, have slowly been gutted losing DeMarre Carroll, Al Horford, Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, and Kyle Korver. Now back-to-business.
The proof of success for Budenholzer’s ability as a coach was highlighted by the 2014-15 season when the Hawks won 60 games and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals with no legitimate superstar on the team. Budenholzer used an intricate offensive system that focused on getting great shots whether that was an open three or a drive to the cup.
This is where I see Budenholzer helping the Bucks the most.
Budenholzer’s 2014-15 Hawks shot the ball well, although they did have more shooters on their roster than the Bucks: Kyle Korver, Al Horford, Jeff Teague, Thabo Sefolosha, and Paul Millsap, the reason they shot 38% on the year 2nd in the NBA was because of his ability to look at his roster and figure out what THEY do well, not what YOU want them to do well.
The Bucks main downfalls of the season were inconsistent shooting and uncertainty in key (winning) situations. The Bucks were simply not a good shooting team in 2017-18 Often having key possessions end in a turnover or a bad shot because of that very thing our head coach didn’t work towards creating the best situations for our best players.
Now might I add, Joe Prunty did a fine job in my estimation based on the situation he was in with the interim role, but it was ever apparent in the first round series that Prunty wasn’t going to be able to create those winning plays.
“I feel like every coach is either really good at X’s and O’s or a really good personality manager, and there aren’t many coaches who know how to walk the middle. Bud? I’ve never seen a coach at any level who does it better than him.” – Kyle Korver
Budenholzer walks the fine line of a strategist and a player’s coach similar to his mentor Greg Popovich. Budenholzer spent 18-years in San Antonio winning 5 championships in that time frame. Budenholzer’s relationship with his players clearly benefits him with a trust that is noticeable on the court.
Budenholzer if hired by the Bucks will most certainly get the most out of this team, which seemingly has been main issue for Milwaukee. With talent running through the roster it is fair to say that Budenholzer would immediately be placed in a situation where he can succeed. Although Budenholzer works best with a great team, it will be fascinating to see how he would use the Greek Freak.
It’s easy to imagine Budenholzer having a large say in the construction of this team if appointed the head coach. If Milwaukee can sign Budenholzer to a deal sooner-than-later he will be able to implement his system by getting the type of player that can run his system.