Milwaukee Bucks: Is Scott Skiles Losing the Team?
The old adage is that you can't fit a square peg in a round hole.
Realizing how cliche this statement is, it still seems to be incredibly applicable to the current situation the Milwaukee Bucks find themselves in.
General Manager John Hammond traded away his problem player in Corey Maggette to bring on another team's problem in Stephen Jackson. In doing so he matched Jackson with a hard-nose coach in Scott Skiles.
The coaching style of Skiles is that of the "my way or the highway" mentality. When you match that with a veteran player with a chip on his shoulder, there is going to be obvious friction.
But this friction may be slowly turning into a crack that will ripple through the entire team.
Last night was very telling. After coming back from a 21-point deficit, the Bucks were unable to get a shot off, with five seconds on the clock when inbounding from half court.
Stephen Jackson finally saw some time on the court, playing 30 minutes off the bench. When interviewed after the game Jackson was asked if he wanted to stay playing with Milwaukee: "If I answer that questions I'll get fined."
It has become obvious that Jackson wants out, and it is somewhat easy to understand why. He is arguably the best talent the Bucks have, and he has no idea on any given night whether or not he is going to play.
The same rings true with the entire team. Skiles played his three of his starters less than 16 minutes last night. His rotation seems to be purely based on how well you are playing in the first few minutes that you are on the court.
What should the Bucks do to resolve this problem?
If he sees anything he doesn't like, he will not hesitate to sit you down. You may not see the court again that night.
This is problematic in two ways. It puts an incredible amount of pressure on the players to perform. Basketball is a game when players are relaxed and letting the game come to them. You do not want players forcing things on the court.
It also hampers the ability for players create chemistry with each other. With some many different combinations of players on the court at different times, the team really has not developed any chemistry or identity.
The problems with Skiles are now extending beyond Stephen Jackson. The were rumblings earlier in the season that Andrew Bogut was upset due to being benched.
Last night, Brandon Jennings was simply not himself. When was the last time we complained he didn't take enough shots?
Shooting the ball four times in 28 minutes, Jennings was benched for the final defensive play. He then didn't have his number called to take the final shot.
After the game, Jennings did not explicitly say anything negative. But if you have listened to Jennings before, the tone was obviously different. He was short, even rude. He answered eight questions in less than a minute, and his body language would also suggest he is upset.
Only days earlier he was quoted as saying he felt Jackson should see more time on the court. The fact is that Bogut, Jennings, and Jackson are the vocal leaders on this team. When they start voicing displeasure, the other guys may follow suit and before Skiles knows it, he may be losing the team completely.
What is obvious now is that the square peg and the round hole will never fit together. A change may be necessary to right the course of the ship for the team.
Many people seem to think that Jackson should be traded. But the truth is that Skiles may have already lost this team. The Bucks will never get fair value for Jackson if they are even able to trade him
The time has come where the the team also needs to look at Skiles and determine if he can take the team to the next level.
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