The Milwaukee Bucks have fired head coach Adrian Griffin after 43 games in the 2023-24 season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Bucks have been one of the best teams in the league with a 30-13 record, but there were questions about Griffin’s ability to bring out the best in the star pairing of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard from the start. Clearly, management feels he’s been unable to do that and has decided to pull the plug. Joe Prunty will step in as the interim coach.
There were issues with Milwaukee’s offense, and it felt like Lillard never quite found his footing despite having stellar production statistically. This feels like a move the Bucks made with pressure from the two stars, since moving on from a head coach in the middle of what feels like a season where the Bucks are contending is a risky move.
One potential replacement candidate would be Doc Rivers, who is currently commentating for ESPN, per Woj. However, his track record in postseason games lately hasn’t been great and he didn’t get along with James Harden, so there’s little reason to think he’d gel with Lillard on the fly. Terry Stotts, who was hired as an assistant coach for the Bucks this offseason before resigning, could be in the mix. He was Lillard’s coach for most of the point guard’s time with the Trail Blazers.
The Bucks sit at 30-13 and in second place in the Eastern Conference. Letting go of Griffin didn’t have as much to do with wins as it did about the offense and defense being inconsistent. It also didn’t help that the Bucks barely beat the Pistons in a two-game set in Detroit. The first game, the Bucks allowed 135 points to a putrid Pistons team. Milwaukee also recently lost 135-95 to the Cavaliers.
So with championship aspirations still there following the Lillard move, the Bucks can’t afford to slip up in the postseason again. Rather than sit through an entire season with Griffin as the helm, trying to figure things out, the Bucks are going to find a replacement. We’ve seen this work out in some instances with teams. Milwaukee is also too talented to let this season go to waste.