The Milwaukee Bucks recently fired two-time Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer. Here are the three best coaching options they have to replace him.
Mike Budenholzer has been the head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks for the last five seasons. In those five seasons the Bucks have had the best record in the league in three seasons, have the most wins in those five seasons combined, and won the NBA championship in 2021.
Outside of the NBA championship in 2021 the Bucks have come up short in horrific fashion. In 2019 after being 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, they would lose four straight games to the Raptors. In 2020 they would lose in five games to the Heat in the second round. In 2022, they lost in seven games to the Celtics in the second round, and this season they lost to the eight seed Heat in five games.
Coach Bud’s inability to make adjustments in those series was one of the big reasons behind his firing and now the Bucks need to look at their best options to coach their team moving forward.
Ranking the 3 best coaching options for the Bucks: 3. Kenny Atkinson
Kenny Atkinson has been the assistant head coach for the Warriors the last two seasons. He has also been a head coach in this league for four years with the Brooklyn Nets, with a record of 118-190 and making the playoffs as the No. 6 seed in 2019.
Atkinson did not have great teams in Brooklyn because the team was still trying to get out from under the horrendous Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade in 2013. Outside his tenure in Brooklyn, he has had the opportunity to be an assistant coach under Mike D’Antoni, Mike Budenholzer, Tyronn Lue, and Steve Kerr.
The Bucks should strongly consider Atkinson because he’ll implement a plethora of systems that could heavily benefit them. The Bucks need to shoot and make 3s at a high clip to open up the lane for Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Atkinson coaching Steve Kerr for the last two seasons, could insert part of his system to get those open looks. Atkinson will also have the defensive scheme coming from a very familiar system with coach Bud and a new one with Tyronn Lue. He also has a great reputation for player development, which could be important as the Bucks begin to move on from some of their veteran role players and open minutes for players like Marjon Beauchamp.