Monday afternoon, the Milwaukee Bucks abruptly head coach Jason Kidd after a hard slump from being in the top three standings in the east to be an 7th seed in the conference. Kidd being fired was a shocking move from the front office at the moment, even their superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo tried to save his coaches job.
It is plain and simple that the front office didn’t show the right support for Kidd through this slump. During the Bucks general manager Jon Horst media availability stated, “We believe this gives our team the best opportunity to have the most success this season, the success that we expect, and going forward long term”. Horst and staff believe that they have a short window to make a championship run and firing Kidd was the best solution in their eyes, but it feels like the decision was a bit rushed and too hasty. But, that is the business of the NBA.
Jason Kidd realistically did have his faults while coaching. If we examine the Bucks and how they perform on the court, two aspects people don’t pay attention to is their defense and youth. The only teams to have worse defensive ratings than the Bucks are the Cavaliers, King’s, Hawks, Suns, and Magic. Kidd tried to implement an aggressive defensive strategy that didn’t work out to well when teams ran pick and rolls. It was supposed to take the offense by surprise but it did the opposite.
Simple ball movement from the perimeter to inside the key to a quick kick out for a 3 or a mid range shot would suffice to score on the Bucks defense. Their length on the defensive end is deceiving because of that defensive strategy. Also, their youth didn’t help them either. Their lineups are particularly very young due to Thon Maker, John Henson, to name a few. Their bigs are very young and very raw right now to understand some nuisances of the game and that makes it difficult to win.
Kidd made great strides with the Bucks, but unfortunately their front office felt different. It will be interesting to see how they handle the new hiring for their head coach with Mark Jackson and David Fizzdale on the market.