Blogtable: What does Jason Kidd's firing mean for Milwaukee Bucks’ season?
Each week, we ask our scribes to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.
From NBA.com Staff
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Milwaukee has fired coach Jason Kidd. What does this mean for the Bucks right now, this season?
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David Aldridge: Really, not a lot. I know and like Joe Prunty and he’s a terrific coach, but the issues facing the Bucks are structural, not just coach-based. Maybe they’ll be a little less frantic with the halfcourt traps, but will that lead to more deflections and runouts and transition opportunities that were the mother’s milk of Milwaukee’s great defense a couple of years ago? Will it make them a better shooting team? The Bucks are looking for rebounding via trade, and until they get an inhaler of stray shots they’re going to continue to operate in fits and starts offensively.
Steve Aschburner: Firing Kidd means the Bucks can — in fact, had better — get serious about the legitimate expectations with which they came into this season. That is, a top-four seed and advancing into the Eastern Conference semifinals. Those goals got blurred as Milwaukee slid to the No. 8 spot and the coach seemed oddly unaffected by that. If Kidd was trying to motivate his players with a little reverse psychology, he should have focused some analysis on ways he could have helped them more. How much the Bucks accomplish this spring likely will hinge more on Jabari Parker’s comeback than tweaks to the defense and rotations with Kidd gone. But there was time left to change some things up and Milwaukee needed to try.
Shaun Powell: No major shakeup is necessary until we see this team with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon and Jabari Parker on the floor together for a substantial amount of time. And that may not happen until next month at the earliest, after the trade deadline. Once the Bucks reach the offseason and find a coach, then they can take stock of their needs prior to the Draft and free agency and create a clearer blueprint. This is a solid group that, for some reason, didn’t relate well with Jason Kidd. Maybe they will with the next coach. They deserve that chance. Giannis isn’t getting old. Yet.
John Schuhmann: Among East playoff teams, only the Cavs have been worse defensively than the Bucks, who rank 24th on that end of the floor. Improvement could come with a more conservative scheme that will do a better job of protecting the basket and avoiding fouls. No team has allowed its opponents to take a higher percentage of their shots in the restricted area, and only one team (Memphis) has a higher opponent free throw rate. The two most efficient ways to score in this league are at the line and at the basket, the Bucks haven’t done a good enough job of keeping their opponents away from those two places, and they need to be better, especially given their collective length. And hopefully, they’ll no longer be fouling intentionally when up four or missing free throws intentionally when up three.
Sekou Smith: It means someone other than Kidd gets to work under what I think are unrealistic expectations for a Bucks team that, while talented, is not close to being the elite playoff outfit some in the organization believe them to be. It also means the Bucks, like so many teams before them, will operate with expectations like they have already arrived, when their performance under Kidd suggested they clearly had not. So it was all on Kidd? I’m not buying that. A new coach, better yet the right new coach, can change the trajectory. I’m just not sure it’s going to happen as quickly as needed to satisfy the powers that be in Milwaukee. I’ve heard some people compare this situation to what the Golden State Warriors did when they fired Mark Jackson and ultimately replaced him with Steve Kerr. Careful with those comparisons.
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