MILWAUKEE — It would be easy to assume that NBA players have already gotten as good as they are going to get in basketball once they’re in the playoffs, but that’s actually far from the truth. The Milwaukee Bucks’ attention to improvement is one reason they’re expecting a long playoff run.
There are many people to point to when identifying the reasons for the success of the Milwaukee Bucks, including any number of players, the head coach, the general manager, and even assistant coaches.
“They’ve done a great job here of making sure that each player understands that you getting better individually is going to help the team get better, but the team’s success is going to help individual success,” said Pat Connaughton, guard.
“The players want more. I think they all set out on this journey. They want to be the best at their craft, and so they recognize every day if the next guy on our team is working hard, somebody else on another team is working just as hard. You’ve got to train at a very high level,” said Charles Lee, assistant coach.
Coach Mike Budenholzer and his staff helped several young players on the Atlanta Hawks improve their individual games, and team success followed. When Coach Bud was hired in Milwaukee, he wasn’t about to come alone.
“No. That didn’t surprise me. He’s had a lot of success with those people by his side, so why not? Their camaraderie that they have as a coaching staff sheds on the team, and I think you see that over there with the Milwaukee Bucks. They take player development very seriously,” said Taurean Prince, Hawks forward.
Budenholzer brought his entire coaching staff with him from Atlanta to Milwaukee — so the dynamics were already in place. The philosophies were already in place as well, and the players are the beneficiaries.
“Us being together before, we all know the terminology. We all know how Coach Bud likes things and thinks about things and how things need to be prepared and organized, and it really just helped us come here and hit the ground running,” said Lee.
Several players who were with the Bucks in the past have shown gains this season. Other players who just arrived this year have played some of their most meaningful basketball.
“It’s a lot of the same messaging to these players. I think that we all understand that the biggest part of player development is just continual growth and everyday improvement,” said Lee.