Milwaukee Bucks coach Doc Rivers calling his team out is not a good look

2024 NBA All-Star - Practice
2024 NBA All-Star - Practice / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers has had a very rough first 10 games.

Since taking over as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, the team's record is 3-7 so far under Rivers, and they have not looked good, to say the least. Although the overall team defense has shown improvements in some aspects, the offense is a whole different story. The last two losses before the all-star game (at a lowly G-league Memphis team and getting blown out at home to Miami) made the prior two home blowout wins against Charlotte and Denver seem extremely forgettable, sadly.

After the embarrassing loss at Memphis, in which the Bucks played the majority of the game with any sense of urgency, Rivers said, "We had some guys here and some guys in Cabo." Granted, Rivers was not wrong about that, but this is something that cannot and should not happen, especially after only 10 games at the helm.

Doc Rivers eye-raising comments during the NBA All-Star Media day

During the NBA's All-Star Media Day in Indianapolis this past weekend, Milwaukee Bucks coach Doc Rivers said when asked about the subject, "Taking a job when you're about to go on the toughest road trip of the season is not the smartest decision," and "I even told them that: 'Can we wait 'til All-Star break?' You know, it would have been a lot nicer."

Additionally, when asked about taking over as Milwaukee's head coach, he replied, "It's been probably more difficult than I thought." This has to raise some eyebrows, specifically in the locker room. The last thing Rivers can afford to do is lose the locker room. This is exactly what happened with Adrian Griffin, and it cost him his job after 43 games into the season.

Rivers has had some problems in the past with throwing some players he's coached under the bus. His comments after the Memphis debacle, as well as during All-Star Media Day, are already raising eyebrows and are a cause for concern. It's one thing to hold Bucks players accountable for their play, which is totally warranted and justified, but is it not the job of the head coach to motivate his players to play, especially after only 10 games?

Doc Rivers has to stop with the excuses

In addition to throwing some of his players under the bus by alluding to some of them being in Memphis for the last game before the All-Star break and some being in Cabo, let's not forget that he had a list of excuses after the first five games he coached that resulted in a 1-4 record. Essentially, Rivers blamed the team's 1-4 road trip record on altitude, schedule makers, time zone, fatigue and injuries, and playing too hard on defense.

Sure, he's still new to the job, hasn't quite implemented his schemes, inherited a coaching staff, and is still learning his player's names and all their nuances. This is an experienced coach with over 20 years in the NBA. At some point, he has to be culpable as well and have his team better prepared.

The bottom line is that after 10 games and a 3-7 record, there are many questions about the job Doc Rivers has done as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks so far.

During this stretch, the Bucks are 23rd in offensive rating, 11th in defensive rating (which is an improvement) and 19th overall in net rating.

This, no doubt, must improve. Ultimately, it is his job to motivate his players to go out and play with effort and a sense of urgency, as this has been a glaring issue with this team all season so far. The fact of the matter is that after 10 games at the helm, there are serious questions and concerns about his coaching. Him throwing guys under the bus when he's not doing his job will not be taken lightly by fans and players alike.

Rivers is dealing with two mega superstars on this team in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard. This will not sit well with them. Rivers should not have started down this road. As it did with Adrian Griffin, Rivers' relationship with his team can become toxic very quickly. The Bucks need to stay focused, remain locked in, and cannot afford to have any potential locker room issues with Rivers moving forward. They are on their third coach in the past six months and cannot afford to start all over again.

Stay tuned for more.