5 Areas Milwaukee Bucks Must Address This Offseason
After suffering through the worst season in franchise history, the Milwaukee Bucks have plenty of issues that need to be addressed during the offseason.
For advocates of tanking, the 2013-14 season will be considered a success if the team obtains the top overall pick in June's draft. But that's no guarantee.
Throughout the year, the team was never able to develop any sort of consistency.
And that doesn't just mean winning.
Inconsistent rotations, lack of an identity on offense and seemingly no real game plan all plagued the Bucks throughout the 2013-14 campaign, and much of that falls on the shoulders of head coach Larry Drew.
In addition to dealing with the on-court issues, management will need to decide whom it wants to take on draft night as well as making monetary decisions involving personnel.
Now that we have a brief outline, let's dive into the specifics.
*Unless otherwise noted, all statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.
It was no secret that the Bucks were a terrible offensive team in 2013-14.
They ranked 28th in points per game at 95.5 and their 43.3 field-goal percentage wasn't much better, coming in at 26th.
O.J. Mayo was the key offensive acquisition last summer, and his designs to be team's go-to scorer never quite came to fruition.
Brandon Knight emerged as the team's leading scorer and will continue to provide an offensive spark from the point guard position, but the team needs to find more scorers to fill out the other positions. In addition to Mayo's regression, big men Larry Sanders and John Henson are still relatively raw on offense.
Attracting free agents will be difficult, so the Bucks probably will want to address the offense by taking Jabari Parker in the draft, if he's available when Milwaukee selects.
Some coaches go deep into their bench while others like to keep things a bit tighter.
Milwaukee head coach Larry Drew certainly fit in the former category in 2013-14.
During the season, 19 different players suited up and played in at least one game for the team. Of those 19 players, 14 of them averaged more than 20 minutes of playing time. Only three—Brandon Knight, Ramon Sessions and Khris Middleton—averaged more than 30.
It's no secret that the Bucks were never in the playoff hunt, so it's understandable that Drew probably wanted to test out his young players.
But that's not an excuse to never establish anything that resembles a somewhat consistent rotation. Without ever doing so, the team never truly meshed and never was able to develop any sort of chemistry.
If the Bucks intend to get better next season, Drew will have to show he can establish a consistent rotation.
Much like his inability to keep a tight rotation, Drew failed to establish a consistent starting lineup throughout the year.
Some of that can be attributed to injuries, and some of it can be attributed to experimenting. Again, though, that shouldn't be an excuse for never sticking with one lineup.
In fact, the most Drew used the same starting lineup was 14 times.
Players having defined roles—whether that be as a starter, sixth man or role player—is a vital part to the success of a team. It allows those players to know their responsibilities throughout the season. Obviously there are circumstances which would call for a player to have his role revamped, but typically, like any employee, NBA players like to have their assignments and roles clearly laid out for them.
Drew never consistently stuck with a starting lineup, and that left many players wondering how much they would play prior to any game.
He'll need to develop a standard lineup and only make minor tweaks to it in 2014-15.
The Bucks weren't exactly bulletproof when it came to injuries in 2013-14.
Brandon Knight, O.J. Mayo, Ersan Ilyasova, John Henson, Larry Sanders and Zaza Pachulia all missed time over the course of the year because of one injury or another.
Missing big chunks of games can derail chemistry and, going forward, the Bucks will need to try to stay healthy as best they can. While this isn't NBA 2K14 and injuries can't just be turned off, there are steps players and the organization can to help prevent them.
Whether that means better conditioning, more focus on strength training or less intensive in-season workouts, the training staff must find a way to ensure players stay on the court.
The Phoenix Suns have mastered that over the years, and it has been a big part of their success in recent years.
Hopefully Milwaukee can head in that direction.
The Individual Who Is the Team's Future
Make no mistake about it, when the Bucks are on the clock during the 2014 draft, they're drafting for their future.
Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid have all decided to leave college after one season to begin their quest for NBA greatness.
And all three have been touted as players who could have a franchise-changing impact.
There's no guarantee that the Bucks will have that No. 1 overall pick, but the odds for getting that spot are more in Milwaukee's favor than anyone else.
Given their struggles on offense, the Bucks may want to choose Parker who, by many accounts, is the best all-around scorer of the three aforementioned prospects. However, Wiggins and Embiid are certainly not bad choices, either, and can get it done on both ends of the floor.
That obviously didn't work out like most would have hoped.
With the pressure on, management needs to make the right choice this time more than ever.