Wild stat proves Bucks took the latest hot trend way too far

One specific statistic shows where Milwaukee made a grave mistake this past season.
Doc Rivers, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Doc Rivers, Giannis Antetokounmpo / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

After what began as a fantastic regular season, the Milwaukee Bucks stuttered down the stretch of the year and ultimately fell far short of their preseason expectations in 2023-24, losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Indiana Pacers. A championship-worthy campaign quickly turned into another disappointment for Giannis Antetokounmpo and company.

While Giannis was hurt for the entirety of his team's first round playoff series, the team was still well within striking distance and had a chance to come out with the victory. In fact, we can argue that the Bucks should never have even been matched up with the Pacers in the first place, had they simply taken care of business in the second half of the regular season.

As we all know, Milwaukee's season took a sharp turn this past year after a single event came to pass: the firing of Adrian Griffin, and subsequent hiring of Doc Rivers. It was a positively shocking move, seeing as Griffin had led the Bucks to a 30-13 record to that point in the season. But as soon as he was let go, Rivers moved in on January 26 to take his place.

Many were puzzled over and questioned Milwaukee's decision-making in this move, especially given the team's success through nearly three months with Adrian leading the way. Now, looking back, that decision looks even more questionable given one very telling stat: Adrian Griffin's winning percentage as a head coach is the fourth-best in NBA history.

Adrian Griffin has the fourth-best winning percentage in NBA history

It almost sounds like a made up number, but you can check the record books: only three coaches in the history of this league have as good a winning percentage. Griffin is dead even with Billy Cunningham in win percentage, and right behind the likes of Joe Mazzulla, as well as the legendary Pat Riley.

Such a telling number only serves to further highlight how big a mistake the Bucks made in moving on from Griffin so easily. As we would find out, this choice was not something Giannis had a part in, as he explained following the firing. So the brunt of the blame in this case falls directly on the shoulders of Milwaukee's management.

It seems that what the Bucks chose to do was follow a very popular trend in the NBA right now: ousting a coach at the first onset of trouble, thinking that it will fix all their problems. We have seen this happen with many teams around the league, but the latest example is the Suns. Phoenix did away with Frank Vogel after just one season, when it was clear his coaching was not the chief problem.

It is highly concerning that Milwaukee fell into the trap of firing a coach when the main concerns were in all likelihood elsewhere. The fact that Adrian Griffin has held such an outstanding record in his coaching career thus far is incredibly convicting for the Bucks and their process, and something will have to change moving forward.