The Milwaukee Bucks have decided to part ways with interim coach Jim Boylan on Wednesday. The move does not come as a shock to anyone as the Bucks made the right decision to fire the former Milwaukee assistant coach.
The Bucks finished the season with a below .500 record (38-44) and were swept in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs by the Miami Heat. Nobody expected Milwaukee to defeat Miami, but the fans did expect a better showing then what they got. The players only went as far as their coach would take them, and Boylan simply was not ready to coach a postseason series.
Boylan did not utilize his players correctly against the Heat and consistently put in questionable lineups. Point guard Ish Smith, who rarely saw playing time during the regular season, started the second half of Game 1. He played four minutes, Miami went on a run and Boylan quickly yanked him out of the game after he realized the mistake he made. Smith did not cause any harm to the team that they probably would not have done to themselves, however, it is the principle that Boylan did not trust his starters.
Boylan clashed with players, including Brandon Jennings, and never appeared comfortable leading the team. Many fans gave the coach credit for benching Jennings when the point guard was not getting the job done, but he failed to make moves to gain the respect of the players.
“Not unlike many teams, there always are contract issues and personalities to deal with,” Boylan told JSOnline.com. “It was not an easy group. But as coach it was my job to try to handle that.
“As an interim coach my hands were tied a little bit. But I don’t want to play the blame game. I only want to point fingers at myself.”
The fact that he rarely talked with guard J.J. Redick in the postseason was another problem. The Bucks acquired Redick to be an efficient shooter down the stretch, and a dominant asset off the bench in the playoffs. Unfortunately, Redick mostly saw the bench during the postseason as he averaged a meager 17.3 minutes per game.
To only talk about the bad things Boylan brought to the table would be wrong because he accomplished plenty of good. He is the reason why Ersan Ilyasova broke out of his early season funk and became a major contributor on the team this season. He also was responsible for juggling a difficult situation that saw four guards (Monta Ellis, Mike Dunleavy, Redick and Jennings) fighting for playing time.
It is an unfortunate way for a great assistant coach to leave town. However, he was given a chance and blew it. Now, Milwaukee must find a new head coach to lead them back to the playoffs. My personal opinion is that the Bucks must do whatever it takes to land Stan Van Gundy.