Jan 8, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jim Boylan during the second quarter of the game against the Phoenix Suns at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks Links: Everything All at Once Edition

The Bucks won the first game of the Jim Boylan Era last night.  (Behind the Buck Pass, Brew Hoop, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bucksketball)

Jake McCormick of Brew Hoop noted that Monta had an off-night, partly because he couldn’t hit any of his outside shots and partly because when he went inside, Marcin Gortat gave him nightmarish fits.

Every doomed teen in a Freddy Krueger movie has a fear begging for exploitation. For Ellis, Marcin Gortat was that fear Tuesday night. Ellis took 12 of his 19 shots at the rim, so penetrating wasn’t a problem. It was Gortat’s magnetic like slides to deny Ellis even the simplest of finger rolls. Which, as we all know, are far from simple even without a behemoth Pollack in the way.

Scott Skiles denies hating his team, but admits to ‘normal player-coach friction’ (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Charles F. Gardner)

On the report that he ‘hated’ his team: “That’s an absolute lie,” Skiles said. “If (the writer) has that information, it was given to him by somebody to demean me.”

On his relationship with his players:  “There’s always the normal coach-player friction that goes on,” Skiles said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “Guys at this level are great players. This is, as NBA teams go, this is a good group of guys.”

 There wasn’t much more Skiles could have done to make the Bucks better than a .500 team (Grantland, Zach Lowe)

When the Bucks replaced an elite big-man defender with an undersize chucker who could run the pick-and-roll, Skiles retooled his offense into a fast-paced, assist-happy fun-time machine. Milwaukee ran when it could, and within the half-court, Skiles scrapped the post game and predictable pick-and-rolls (up high for Jennings, and on the wing for Salmons back in 2010) in favor a whirling circular system of high-speed dribble hand-offs that turned into impromptu pick-and-rolls at the elbow area. Jennings and Ellis would sprint down one side, turn and run the baseline, pop up for a handoff near the opposite elbow, and grab the ball at full running speed. From there, they could either penetrate the lane, pitch to their partner at the top in a similar action, or (gulp) launch a difficult mid-range jumper. The system didn’t always lead to efficient shots — no Ellis-dominated system could — but it worked as an antidote to en vogue defensive systems designed to force all pick-and-rolls away from the middle.

Radio play-by-play announcer Ted Davis speculates on Scott Skiles’ desire to stop coaching the Bucks (WSSP.com)

On the timing of the move: “I think there was a sense among those of us who are around the team on a daily basis — in particular in the last week or so — I really felt that Scott had become taxed or disconnected from the process of trying to make this team better. I can’t tell you why because I can’t get inside of Scott’s head.”

On his desire to be here this season and possibly next: “You know again I can’t get inside Scott’s head, but my opinion was that he didn’t want to come back at the end of last year and all season I have felt that he was not going to be back next year no matter what. Whether it was the Bucks deciding to not bring him back or the Bucks saying, ‘Hey Scott, we want you back” — I think he would have said ‘no’. Again, I think he’s one of those guys that feels that there’s an internal clock that a coach has with a team where the players will respond to him and listen to what he has to say. And it’s probably about five years. Coach Skiles was looking at five years and saying, Well, that’s it. I’m done here, and you know whatever happens ahead I’ll go to my next job or whatever”, but I do think that that was factoring into what was going on with Skiles and I think he had already decided that he wasn’t coming back next year no matter what.”

Larry Sanders garners 30% of the NBA’s Top 10 Plays of the Night

GM John Hammond is in talks with owner Herb Kohl on a contract extension for himself (From the Bucks press conference to announce that Skiles was leaving.)

“The Senator and I are in discussions involving an extension for me at this point.”

With all the various newsworthy changes surrounding the Bucks over the past couple of days:  Skiles leaving, Boylan taking over, Ersan starting, Larry dominating, the Bucks beating the Suns, the Bucks playing the Bulls tonight, Brandon self-appointing himself as the ‘face of the franchise’ (while griping about a perceived slight), this tidbit is what merits a headline.  Hammond would presumably be gone at the end of this season without an extension when his contract expires. This choice is the one that will shape what happens to the Bucks in 2014 and beyond.

Do you think that John Hammond has done enough to earn an extension?  Is his continued leadership of the franchise a good thing?  I tend to think that it is.

Bonus link:  The Sacramento Kings won’t be relocating to Virginia Beach (Sacramento Bee) and there are rumors — of the most specious variety (Sactown Royalty) — that they will be moving to Seattle soon.  Planting another NBA team in Seattle would be a positive step toward keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee.

Tags: Jim Boyland John Hammond Larry Sanders Milwaukee Bucks Scott Skiles

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