This has been a season full of controversy in terms of coaching changes. This one is the quietest of the season.
Currently sitting eighth in the Eastern Conference, and just three games back of the Chicago Bulls in the Central Division, the Milwaukee Bucks and head coach Scott Skiles have agreed to mutually “part ways.” The news was first reported by Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports’.
Skiles is the third coach this season to be relieved of their coaching duties, following the firings of Mike Brown for the Los Angeles Lakers and Avery Johnson for the Brooklyn Nets. The difference is that Skiles actually had a choice of staying aboard.
The Bucks made an official statement about Skiles’ exit.
“Scott and I met yesterday after practice and after some honest discussion, we both came to the conclusion that it was best to part ways,” [general manager John] Hammond said. “It is never an easy decision to make, but in the end a decision we felt was best for both parties. I want to thank Scott for his hard work, dedication and the imprint he leaves on our team and our entire organization. We all wish him and his family well.”
Skiles was currently at .500, 16-16, with the Bucks this season. Overall, Skiles has a coaching record of 443-433, including 162-182 in Milwaukee.
“John [Hammond] and I met and mutually agreed that a coaching change would be in the best interest of both parties,” Skiles said. “I am truly grateful for our time here. We are leaving with many fond memories.”
Though Skiles sounds grateful, the sentiment does not match up with Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski source. According to Wojnarowski, Skiles was not happy with the team that was assembled for this season.
Close coaching friend of ex-Bucks coach Scott Skiles tells Y! Sports: “Scott hated his team.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 8, 2013
Of course, both sides deny it. While he may not have been happy with the roster, but it didn’t stop Skiles from getting the most out of the team defensively. The Bucks ranks ninth in the league in team defense, including sixth in opponent 3-point percentage. Also, this particular Bucks team has had success against the Celtics, winning three of the four meetings this season while holding them to 42% shooting from the field and 29% from three-point range.
If Milwaukee wants success, they’re gonna need to do something about their offense, which currently ranks 27th in the league. Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings are volume shooters, so efficiency does suffer. It will be up to Interim Coach Jim Boylan to shore up those issues, while maintaining the defense intact, for the Bucks to make a run for the postseason.