Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer fumbled the bag in Wednesday’s 128-126 Game 5 loss to Miami, which saw the first-seeded Bucks get eliminated.
In the dying seconds of regular time the scores were tied, but Budenholzer opted to not use his timeout, which allowed Jimmy Butler to get an unbelievable shot off to send the game into OT.
“Yeah, we needed to call a timeout there,” Budenholzer admitted postgame.
The Bucks shouldn’t have even been in that position, but they allowed the Heat claw their way back into the game and blew a 16-point lead in the process.
In OT, the home team looked panicked with the basketball, but their coach continued to let them play instead of calling a timeout to settle things down.
Throughout the whole series, coach Bud’s lack of defensive adjustment on Butler was very surprising.
Considering these factors, there are questions around his future at the franchise, backed by NBA Insiders.
“There’s some losses for which there’s just no going back,” Zach Lowe said on his podcast. “You cannot come back to the same team, and the Bucks cannot come back the same team from this.
“League insiders — you don’t really have to be an insider — but league insiders are extremely skeptical that Mike Budenholzer can return as head coach of the Bucks after this. He has, according to [Adrian Wojnarowski], his last extension, which happened after they won the title, runs through the ’24 – ’25 season, so he has two years left. I just don’t see anyone coming back from it. It’s just logic. … I think the league insiders are going to be right. I just don’t see any other way.”
Shams Charania also shared similar sentiments to Lowe about Budenholzer.
“Mike Budenholzer’s status as Bucks head coach is very much shaky, there are questions across the organization, locker room, franchise about his status moving forward ” Shams said. “… I’m told Budenholzer has two years and $16 million left on his contract.”
Watch this space.