3 Moments that doomed the Milwaukee Bucks in 2023-24

Dec 19, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;
Dec 19, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2023-24 Milwaukee Bucks' season was certainly a journey. With all the different storylines, it felt like a few seasons combined.

It came to a shocking ending last week when the Bucks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the second season in a row. These three moments played the most prominent role in Milwaukee getting to that point.

Hiring Adrian Griffin doomed the Milwaukee Bucks

A year ago, Bucks fans were thrilled to be moving on from former head coach Mike Budenholzer. It became apparent that the Bucks needed a change in leadership after they became the first team in NBA history to lose a playoff series to a team that qualified for the play-in tournament.

After an extensive interview process, the Bucks ultimately went with Adrian Griffin to lead their team. Unfortunately for the Milwaukee Bucks, Griffin struggled during his short tenure.

Milwaukee's defense struggled mightily in the first half of the season, ranking near the bottom of the league in nearly every defensive category. The Bucks knew they could only compete for a title in 2023-24 if they patched things up on the defensive side. Likely due to their poor defensive showing, Griffin was fired after 43 games despite a 30-13 record.

After Griffin's dismissal, the Bucks hired Doc Rivers to lead them through the rest of the season. Rivers, taking over midseason, had an uphill climb to try to get the Bucks playing at a championship level. Rivers was unsuccessful in getting Milwaukee to that level, mostly due to injuries to his star players, although their defense did improve under him.

Jon Horst's biggest mistake as general manager of the Bucks was hiring Griffin, a rookie head coach, to lead a team trying to get back to the NBA Finals. It's a move Horst would undoubtedly like to have back.