The world famous Brew Hoop Discussion Thread has returned! Kiss your loved ones goodbye for the foreseeable future, because you'll be spending all your time here discussing our topic du
jour month sometimes.
This installment will focus on the man running the show. Larry Drew has led the Bucks to a 14-59 record in his first season as head coach. If you're like me and fancy yourself as a numbers person, you'll pick up on the fact that 14-59 is a bad, bad record for a basketball team. If you're not a numbers person, you can still probably figure that out, but people won't respect you because you aren't about that #stats life. I'm kidding. Or am I?
Anyways, I'm certain that we can all agree that this season has been one of the most painful ones to watch, right? Sure, the timing of it can be considered a huge positive, given that the Bucks have mostly shifted towards a much-needed rebuild and are slotted to be selecting from the top tier of talent in the upcoming draft. That is actually very exciting and could lead to many years of future success.
However, 14 wins, an ugly loss per week, and no discernible pattern of improvement or emergence of an identity has to leave some people wondering what's going on. There have been plenty of injuries that can kill the rhythm of a ball club, and horrible teams generally aren't executing whatever game plan they set out to accomplish, but the frequency with which the Bucks play without direction has to be somewhat alarming at this point.
The blame pie for this season can be sliced and distributed to many different people, but we'll just focus on Larry Drew for this thread. If we threw ownership, management, and the players into this we might all go insane and hide under some blankets and cry. For the sake of us, we'll keep it to assessing the coach and what it means for the future. Don't say Brew Hoop never cared about your health!
When Larry Drew was hired this offseason, many folks considered this to be the safe hire. Drew had had moderate success with Atlanta as their lead man, and the other candidates that the Bucks interviewed probably didn't have the chops (according to the employers, I'm assuming) to keep the Bucks competitive and fighting for the playoffs. Or something. Drew was given the job thereafter, and the playoff campaign began, though the plan seemed to change a bit over the course of the summer as Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis departed and were replaced by a mish-mash of youngsters and so-so veterans. By training camp we heard precious little talk about playoffs and far more about youth and the long-term.
Throughout the course of the season, Drew has had to go on record to apologize for his team's performance. While the players are the one playing the game, one has to wonder whether the schemes are as problematic as the personnel at this point. In other words, perhaps the coach is more to blame for the the lack of energy than the players?
Possible discussion point #1: Who is more to blame for the embarrassing efforts: Scheme (coach) or personnel (players)?
With the team heading towards a youth-driven rebuild and a top pick in this year's draft, one could argue that this the fresh start that the Bucks desperately need, even if they fell into it accidentally and technically don't deserve such luck. However, they're now in this position and there's nothing they can do about it.
Now that the rebuild is set to start from scraps (with a little bit of meat left on the bone), it might be tempting or even wise to look for a promising head coach that can both grow with the team and establish a culture that the team and city can start to get behind. I may be making that sound more dramatic than I should, but I think you get the general idea. There are always intriguing potential candidates in the assistant, college, and television ranks, and maybe this summer would be a prime opportunity for Milwaukee to make some calls and see who would be interested.
It is also worth noting briefly that with the potential sale of the franchise happening by as soon as this summer (maybe), new ownership members might want their own guys in place running the show. Whether or not this happens as soon as people would like remains to be seen, but finding a different coach might be a priority nonetheless.
Possible discussion point(s) #2: Is Larry Drew the right guy to see this rebuild effort through? Should the Bucks make calls elsewhere? Who would you like to see get said calls?
Finally, if Drew does get another year or two to prove himself, will he deserve it? What would you say his highlights and lowlights have been as coach of the Bucks? Is one of those more critical than the other to you? While he may get some credit for the improvements of guys like Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, or Nate Wolters, he probably deserves some portion of the blame for the lack of development from John Henson, the trades of unhappy veterans (Neal, Ridnour, Butler), or the disappearance of O.J. Mayo, maybe. It seems unfair to place all of that on Drew, but issues like that generally don't appear as much or as rapidly on well-coached teams.
Possible discussion point(s) #3: Has Larry Drew done enough to keep his job? Should he be around after this season?
Of course, if you have other topics regarding Drew you'd like to talk about, drop those in the comments. Also, the goal of this isn't necessarily to come away with one friendly, unified opinion of the guy, so please be civil if other readers stick to their opinions and it makes you want to punch a hole in your wall.
That being said, we eagerly look forward to the discussion. Fire away!