After getting off to a 16-16 start, including losing their last four, the Milwaukee Bucks and head coach Scott Skiles have decided to part ways.
The initial reports make it seem like the split is mutual, with neither side happy with the other. In fact, Skiles, according to an Adrian Wojnarowski report, “hated his team” and was looking to get out when the season was over. The Bucks just decided to speed up the process.
Skiles has been with the team since the 2008-09 season, going 162-182 and making the playoffs once.
I do not really blame Skiles for not liking what the Bucks are doing. He has to coach a team that has two scoring-minded point guards in the starting lineup. Not sure what the Bucks were thinking when they brought in Monta Ellis to play alongside Brandon Jennings, but it is clearly not a recipe for success.
Milwaukee may just be playing to get through the rest of the season at this point. They are going to be rolling with assistant Jim Boylan as the interim head coach for the rest of the year, and then they can re-evaluate what to do next. Jennings will be a restricted free agent this coming offseason and Ellis has an opt out clause in his contract. The Bucks will surely be thinking long and hard about the direction they want this team to go.
Ironically, a .500 record in the Eastern Conference gets you into the playoffs. The Bucks actually have a 2.5 game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers for the 8-seed in the East. With a new head coach and a lot of turmoil, there is no guarantee that they will not tank the rest of the season, and I surely would not expect them to win a playoff series even if they do make it. But they have a choice to make between looking ahead and trying to make something of themselves this year.
As for Skiles, I would expect him to rebound somewhere. I think he actually is a decent coach and has a great mind for the game of basketball, he just found himself in a bad system in Milwaukee. With the high turnover rate of NBA coaches, we may see him back on the bench sooner rather than later.
Image: USA Today