Continuing with what’s worked for them over the past couple of years, the Milwaukee Bucks are relying on familiarity and detail as they settle into their Orlando surroundings.
As the NBA’s teams begin to acclimate to what their life will be at Walt Disney World Resort for the next few months, the reality is that everything is far from normal, and for athletes who are so used to living by routine in season, that could make for real disruption.
It’s likely for that very reason that the Milwaukee Bucks will be intent on trying to create some sense of familiarity, and recreate some essence of the preparations that have led to their relentless run of victories since Mike Budenholzer took over as head coach prior to the start of the 2018-19 season.
There’s no doubt that the personalized skills training approach that Budenholzer and his staff have long referred to as “vitamins” will resume when players are given the opportunity to practice together once again.
The first such opportunity to do that should arrive on Saturday, as the Bucks will pass the 36-hour quarantine mark since getting to the campus in Orlando, and are scheduled to take to the practice court that afternoon.
When the Bucks do take to the court for that session, there’ll likely be some familiar sights to greet them and make them feel at home, as general manager Jon Horst detailed in speaking to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times a couple of days ago.
“I don’t know if there are 21 other teams that are doing this or not, but some of the details we’ve put into . . . . we have photos everywhere,” Horst said. “We have really intentional, specific photos of our guys in different actions and different things. We have different sayings, different niceties that they’re used to — all the things that matter to our players in an operation — we’ve tried to replicate and take with us put there.”
In that same interview, Horst also explained the logic that went into the Bucks selecting which staff members would make the trip with them to Orlando. Put simply, the priority for Milwaukee was once again health, wellness, and player comfort.
“The value, first and foremost, was player health and wellness,” Milwaukee Bucks general manager Jon Horst said. “Everything we decided on was to try and make sure the guys perform at the highest level, that they’re taken care of, from soft tissue work, to physical therapy work, to nutrition, to their routines and their vitamins for their basketball reps and coaching. Player health and wellness drove every decision in terms of who went to the group.”
With that continued focus on detail and getting the best out of the players, the Bucks will hope to see positive results across what could potentially be a lengthy stay in Orlando in the months ahead.