So, now that we’ve had a couple of weeks to digest things and get all the Doc Rivers 3-1 lead jokes out of our systems, it’s time to get down to business. Now that Milwaukee has played a few games and had some time with their new head coach, it’s painfully clear that this catastrophe is the definition of “doomed to fail.” Rivers isn’t even a full two weeks into his tenure and players are already claiming exhaustion that lingers into games because of intense practice sessions.
It really is hilarious and sad that these things are coming out and Doc has only really just arrived. We love transparency, but some players can be too honest. Then folks in the media report it and when the backlash happens, we get blamed. But when the comments come from a team’s superstar as they have in this instance, it’s usually a big deal.
“And like in practice, people are going faster and running up and down. And obviously, you know, having a new coaching staff you got to kind of show what you’re made of and what you can do. In shootarounds, guys are more aggressive, shoot more, cut more, play harder. We have a longer shootaround because we’re adding stuff, and then you go to the game and you’re kind of a little bit gassed, I’m not going to lie,” said Giannis Antetokounmpo.
One might say Rivers is “Thibs’n” (thank you Carron) regarding having players work much harder than needed on off days. This has been attached to New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau during his coaching career. Many blame Thibs for the rapid decline of Derrick Rose.
Thibs is a defensive-minded coach who’s known for making you work extra hard. Even professional athletes need a day off to be just that sometimes. In today’s NBA, nobody wants to practice hard for hours on a “day off.” We’ve talked about load management for a decade now so what makes anyone think guys want to practice like maniacs? That doesn’t mean you never practice when no games are scheduled, but it can be toned down a bit.
This really is hilarious
Life is about balance and that’s what coach Rivers needs to find in Milwaukee. Despite the midseason coaching change and issues within the organization both on and off the court, the Bucks are a top-three team in the East. Even as they sit today with a 33-18 record (they are 3-5 under Rivers), it doesn’t feel like they’ll catch Boston, but could finish No. 2 in the conference come April.
Although, it’s hard to trust them against the Celtics in the postseason if they can’t get things cleaned up, or even the Miami Heat, for that matter, who’ve been known to surprise teams. Last postseason the Heat made quick work of the Bucks in the first round, beating them in five games. Milwaukee’s defensive effort needs to improve dramatically among other things if they’re to go deep in this year’s playoffs. Oh, wait, let’s add Patrick Beverley to the mix. Now we’ve got a championship-winning formula.
It really is amazing how Rivers continues to get hired for top-tier NBA head coaching gigs. All the talk about the multiple 3-1 leads his teams have lost over the years, yet these owners fall for his apparent wit and charm every time. Maybe it’s him winning his only Coach of the Year award in his first season as a head coach. That year the Orlando Magic won 41 games and narrowly missed the postseason.
If not for that championship he was able to squeak out in Boston, who knows where Rivers would be in 2024? It’s quite possible he’d still be on someone’s sideline barking and flaming out in the second round. Truer words have never been spoken when someone said, “It pays to know people.” Rivers has used this better than almost anyone in American sports for nearly a quarter-century. That alone deserves a round of applause.
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