Milwaukee Bucks: Mike Budenholzer believes lessons learned from 2019 playoff loss

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 20: (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 20: (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Ahead of a potential resumption of the season, Mike Budenholzer believes the Milwaukee Bucks have learned from their 2019 playoff disappointment.

If and when the current NBA season resumes, the Milwaukee Bucks will be in a fantastic position to go on and claim just the second championship in the franchise’s history.

Before they can do that, though, the Bucks will also face a variety of crucial questions.

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Some of those will center around the new challenges that have been presented by COVID-19 and the lengthy layoff that has disrupted what could have shaped up to be the greatest season the Bucks had ever seen. But there are also questions that linger following the way Milwaukee’s season came to an end in 2018-19.

After winning 60 games and cruising through to the Eastern Conference Finals, and then taking a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors in that series, the Bucks lost four in a row to then be left to watch on as the team who vanquished them went on to be crowned as NBA champions.

From individual performances to coaching decisions, the way the wheels came off the Bucks’ title challenge last year certainly led to a lot of scrutiny, and nowhere moreso than within the organization itself it seems.

Speaking to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, head coach Mike Budenholzer recently reflected on that loss in looking ahead to how the Bucks will look to go a couple of steps further this year.

Specifically, Budenholzer was talking about that internal reflection that’s gone on in response to MacMullan asking about Bledsoe’s playoff play in particular.

"“Bled is a little underappreciated on our team,” Budenholzer says. “And that includes the postseason. He’s had a really good year for us. He’s strong, and he’s confident, along with the rest of our guys.“Sure, we’ve talked about what happened last season. We haven’t run from it, whether it was watching something on film, or going over what we could have done differently. That’s all of us, not just Bled. It’s Giannis, it’s Khris [Middleton], it’s me."

In news that will undoubtedly be reassuring to Bucks fans, Budenholzer noted that the need to be more creative offensively is something that was identified, and most importantly that he and the players believe they’ve learned and moved beyond the issues from that Toronto series.

"“You look at the film and you think about ways you can be more creative offensively. You look back at some defensive schemes and think about how you would have tweaked them. But we’ve learned from it and moved on. I sleep pretty good at night. So do our players.”"

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If the NBA gets to resume next month, the Bucks will get a chance to publicly overcome those demons for good, but if Coach Bud is to be believed, that previous failure may not be at the forefront of anyone inside the Milwaukee locker room’s thoughts to begin with.