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Paul Pierce Shows Faith in Bucks’ HC Doc Rivers, Pinpoints the Missing Element

Shubham Singh

Paul Pierce Shows Faith in Bucks’ HC Doc Rivers, Pinpoints the Missing Element

In late January 2024, the Milwaukee Bucks fired Adrian Griffin as their head coach despite the squad having a 30-13 record. The franchise hired Doc Rivers to run the show, which saw widespread criticism. The criticism was intensified as the Bucks faltered after the coaching change, with a record of 20-19. Then during the first round of the 2024 playoffs, the sixth-seeded Indiana Pacers prevailed over them in six games, bringing in added issues for the HC.

Paul Pierce defended his former coach who helped him an NBA title in 2008. On ‘UNDISPUTED’, he expressed that the Bucks will hand over the reins to Rivers for the 2024-25 season. The Truth alluded to the lack of defensive identity in the Wisconsin-based franchise, which stemmed from the team trading away Jrue Holiday to acquire Damian Lillard during the 2023 offseason.

For Pierce, the Bucks will be a force to reckon with next season if they add a strong defender to their roster,

They’re a missing identity which they lost when Jrue Holiday departed. They will be better, you get Doc, you get someone to training camp. You get the coaching staff in line. You can put your system in place. They will be better.”

Pierce acknowledged that firing Adrian Griffin around the midseason wasn’t a wise idea. He also pointed out how difficult it is to take over a team in the middle of the season as it means altering a system that had been in place for multiple months. Moreover, they were winning with that system. He said,

It’s difficult for a coach to come in the middle of a season. In the recent memory, I haven’t seen somebody actually really coming in the middle of the season with a good team, you got to understand the Bucks were like 31 and 14, second place.

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

While Pierce painted an optimistic picture for the Bucks, Skip Bayless wasn’t sure about their fortunes. As per Bayless, Lillard may be disgruntled with the current state of affairs.

Skip Bayless feels that Damian Lillard is frustrated

The Undisputed host opined that Dame Time couldn’t click during the 2023-24 season because he couldn’t settle down in Milwaukee. The Bucks PG had spent a decade with the Portland Trail Blazers where he also had his family, meanwhile, he felt lost in Milwaukee. According to the 72-year-old analyst, Lillard wasn’t comfortable with the weather of the city, and other personal reasons,

For whatever reason, Dame never got happy there. He never got comfortable in Milwaukee. Loved it in Portland, his family stayed in Portland. He really admitted that the whole year was just a hard year, the weather is kinda dreary and it’s not cold, and he’s not used to it.”

Keyshawn Johnson added that the 2024 All-Star MVP was also going through “personal” troubles. Dame divorced his wife Kay’la Hanson in October 2023, which made the transition to the Bucks even harder. Due to this personal turmoil, the Bucks guard was unable to perform as he would have expected. A fresh season will allow the sharpshooter to rediscover his mojo but the Bucks front office has their work cut out.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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