Is Larry Drew the true reason behind Milwaukee Bucks’ struggles this season?
The Milwaukee Bucks are not just recording the worst season than any other team in the NBA this season, ranking dead last in the Eastern Conference with a 12-48 record, they are in fact in the middle of one of the worst seasons any team has recorded over the last decade in the league. The strange thing is that the Bucks were not expected to tank that badly this year.
That’s not saying they were expected to run for the title either, however they were projected to be somewhere around the eighth spot and possibly punch their ticket to the playoffs. Nonetheless, the team just can’t find a way to win games and Larry Drew is receiving tons of criticism about it.
The truth is that no matter the result, either a victory or a loss, the Head Coach of a team has a huge portion of responsibility. It might sound weird, but in basketball, much like in any other team sport, the captain of the ship has to find the best way to use all of its elements in sync. We could say that it doesn’t just take the best car to win the race. A capable driver is needed, too. In fact, sometimes a great driver can win the race even if he doesn’t have the best car. Basketball is a team sport, so teams, not individual players, win games. We saw that happening three years ago when the Dallas Mavericks, as underdogs, beat the Miami Heat, who were expected to record an easy victory in the 2011 NBA Finals. Coach Rick Carlisle used all of his available pieces, even the last man on the bench, to strike the Heat exactly where they ached.
So what does that have to do with the Milwaukee Bucks and their current situation?
Well, the relevance is big. The Bucks do have some quality pieces on their roster. I’m not saying that they could win the championship, but at least with this roster they could have done much better than 12-48 up to this point. Milwaukee really has some great players, like O.J. Mayo, Larry Sanders and the now-gone Caron Butler. All of them, plus the youngsters Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brandon Knight, should have been capable of lifting the team to better levels. That is if they were utilized the correct way. Apparently, they were not.
One of the big mistakes Coach Drew is doing this season is the bad use of his rotations. It’s notable that all but two players on the entire roster are averaging less than 20 minutes per contest. That sounds weird, and in fact it is. Players, especially quality ones, like Mayo and Knight, can’t get in a rhythm if they don’t get enough playing time. On top of that, Larry Drew is not assigning the same minutes to each player night in and night out. So one player could see 30 minutes into one game and the next night he could play just five. That’s an issue the Bucks players have admitted themselves.
Of course, injuries are an excuse. Coach Drew had to use different lineups trying to adjust to the various injuries his players experienced. But still, having 23 starting lineups in a span of 60 games is just too much. The Bucks have to figure out who their core players will be. The truth is that they should have done that already, but even now the team should be trying to find its way for the upcoming season. It’s simple, you give more playing time to the players which deliver and have the best chances to produce, on both ends of the floor, and you keep assigning them with similar minutes every night, until at least you have a better option available.
One other flaw of the Bucks’ game is their transition offense. Coach Larry Drew seems to be a fan of the set play. He believes that the team has to use almost the entire shot clock in order to find the best option on offense. That has resulted in the Bucks ranking 25th in the league in offense and also 19th in the league in fast-break points. Last season, when the Bucks made the playoffs, they ranked third in the league in offense and 15th in fast-break points. It’s obvious that these changes haven’t benefited the team at all.
Yes, the Milwaukee Bucks don’t have a good team at all this season. It’s true that after all those changes they performed during the summer, they lost some of their quality. Nonetheless, this current situation is simply unacceptable. The Bucks have become the laughingstock of the league this season. The fans of the team have every reason to feel upset. After all, they didn’t expect their team to be this bad this season.
It’s still unclear if Milwaukee will get rid of Coach Larry Drew after the end of this season, but it’s a big possibility. How else could the team hope to find success next season? Thankfully, Milwaukee will stand big chances to land a top pick in the upcoming draft, thanks to its awful record. With a bunch of potential superstars waiting to enter the league this summer through the draft, Milwaukee could land a franchise player. The team also has a handful of young players, who could form a strong core going forward. That being said, they will need a figure to guide them through that process. Is Larry Drew that guy? Can he really turn things around next season and most importantly, will the team trust him?
We will find the answer sooner than later. What we know for sure at the moment is that Larry Drew has a big chunk of the responsibility for the current state of the team. Under a different coach, things could have been radically different for the Milwaukee Bucks. For more Milwaukee Bucks stats, news and rumors visit Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues today!