The Sports Pagoda
USA Today has reported the Milwaukee Bucks and Scott Skiles have parted ways. After coaching the teams' practice early Monday, Skiles met with management later that day; reportedly both sides came to the mutual conclusion to go their separate ways.
Skiles and the Bucks started out 16-12 overall, earning their 16th win in nice fashion over the defending NBA champion Miami Heat at home on Dec. 29th. Since then, Milwaukee has lost four straight. Losing three straight division games probably didn't help matters as Saturday nights loss to Indiana put the Bucks at .500 and third in the Central.
Skiles' top assistant coach, Jim Boylan, will take over as interim head coach. This will be the second time Boylan will take the reins in this fashion as he did the same for Skiles when he was fired mid-season as the Chicago Bulls head coach in 2008. As of now, it is unclear whether or not GM John Hammond will seek to hire a full-time replacement or go with Boylan for the rest of the season.
It's hard to pinpoint the final straw on the unexpected firing. Losing to the Pacers by 15 points, blowing an 18 point lead against the Rockets or a possible dissension with players, but one could question the timing of this move.
A rift between he and the players seems unlikely. Here's what PG Brandon Jennings posted on his Twitter account after hearing of the decision: "Coach skiles love the way he Approached the game. Believed in me since I was a rookie, gave me the rock since day one. Thanks for everything"
The Bucks have a decent shot at being a low seed in the playoffs and Skiles was in the last year of his contract. I cannot help but think it would've been a wiser move to have him finish out the year.
Skiles leaves with an overall record of 162-182 in just over four seasons at the helm of Milwaukee. The Bucks made the playoffs just one time during his tenure, in the 2009-2010 season; losing to the Atlanta Hawks in game 7 of the first round.
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