It was the largest margin of defeat in Mike Budenholzer’s tenure as Head Coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks were outmanned, out-performed, out-everythinged in a whopping 42-point loss to the Miami Heat Thursday night.
How do you digest the most lackluster of performances?
For me, there is no sting or bitter taste or concern. Why?
Because the Bucks played a road game without six key players against a Heat team playing its first game of the season. Did I mention the Bucks ended the Heat’s season in the 2021 playoffs?
Chief among the reasons is this: The Bucks won a championship three months ago.
Without a title, there would be more urgency at the beginning of the season to set a tone and display the hunger required to establish footing among the NBA’s elite.
With title in hand, I’m better able to take a broad view of what the regular season is for the Bucks. To borrow the words of ESPN writer Zach Lowe, the regular season is a playoff optimization lab for Budenholzer’s Bucks.
In Budenholzer’s first season with the Bucks, the league was put on notice as the Bucks achieved the best regular season record in the NBA. The NBA’s top overall seed was achieved in his second season as well. Both seasons ended before the NBA finals.
So tinker away Budey! Play a little zone…explore a variety of combinations…play Giannis at center.
It’s all about what happens in April, May and June.