Every good coach is alike; every bad coach is bad in his own way. For Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, this badness manifested itself in a fatal passivity as Budenholzer bungled his way through the end of the Bucks’ season-ending Game 5 loss to the Heat as if he had forgotten that he’s allowed to coach. During their ‘ 16 point fourth quarter collapse, the Bucks refused to adapt even as the Heat seized control of the game and got bounced from the playoffs as a result.
Their defense on Jimmy Butler was unchanged as Butler hung 42 points on the Bucks in Game 5 as a follow-up to his 56 point masterpiece in Game 4 (a franchise record for points in the playoffs). Despite making just three of 19 shots in the fourth quarter, the Bucks never thought to diversify their offense beyond mid-post isos for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Most gallingly, the Bucks had chances to win the game on the final possession at the end of regulation and then again in overtime, but failed to get a shot off either time.
“Honestly, we were all questioning it,” Heat wing Max Strus said about the team’s reaction to Mike Budenholzer’s decision to not call timeout with 0.5 seconds left in regulation to try to diagram a winning play. “At the end of regular time, [coach Erik Spolestra] came into the huddle and he was like ‘they didn’t call a time out? What are they doing?”
While the Bucks almost certainly wouldn’t have been able to actually score the game-winning basket in just .5 seconds, it’s indefensible that they didn’t even try, especially considering that Miami had literally just tied the game on a quick-hitting in-bounds lob play coming out of a timeout of their own.
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