PHOENIX SUNS

Does reported Suns coach Mike Budenholzer have an adjusting problem?

May 10, 2024, 1:05 PM

Mike Budenholzer, who will reportedly take over as Phoenix Suns head coach, may have an issue with adjustments, depending on who you ask.

Many would tell you it was the biggest cause for firing after the 2022-23 Milwaukee Bucks became the sixth No. 1 seed in NBA history to lose to a No. 8 seed in the Miami Heat, who went on to win the Eastern Conference.

The Bucks were coming off a 58-win regular season, the second-most wins in Budenholzer’s tenure there.

Bucks insider Eric Nehm of The Athletic joined Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta Mornings on Friday and dove into the adjustments buzz word that so many people use when talking about Budenholzer’s flaws.

“Bud is going to prefer to play (in the playoffs) the way that he has played all season long,” Nehm said. “That led to some Game 1s where they got blitzed by the other team who was putting together something very specific to beat them.”

Nehm alluded to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021 when the Bucks fell to the Atlanta Hawks, who were led by Trae Young’s 48 points and 11 assists.

“Trae Young was just floating shot after shot over the top of Brook Lopez, (who was in a deep drop) and the Bucks ended up losing that game. That’s something that if they had adjusted before the series, maybe (the Bucks) win that,” Nehm said.

In the series loss in 2023, Miami won Game 1 before Milwaukee took Game 2, their only win in the series.

Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was critical after the series, lamenting the Bucks could’ve defended Jimmy Butler, who averaged 37.6 points in the series, differently.

As a final word, Nehm said it was maybe “overstated” how big of an issue that adjustments were under Budenholzer. He admits that the coach is inelastic at the starts of series but adjusts well within a series.

Phoenix Suns

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Does reported Suns coach Mike Budenholzer have an adjusting problem?