Doc Rivers Told Bucks He Didn’t Understand Why Team Fired Adrian Griffin

Doc Rivers said on SiriusXM NBA Radio that he told the Milwaukee Bucks he didn’t understand why they were firing Adrian Griffin

Adrian Griffin, Doc Rivers, NBA, Milwaukee Bucks
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucks were 30-13 under Griffin, who was fired on January 23.

Rivers, who was serving as an advisor to Griffin, was named Milwaukee’s new head coach on January 27. 

The Bucks are only 3-7 under Rivers. They are in third place in the Eastern Conference with an overall record of 35-21. 

According to NBA insiders Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Eric Nehm of The Athletic, Damian Lillard struggled with how the Bucks functioned offensively under Griffin. NBA reporter Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated also reported that Giannis Antetokounmpo had “lost faith” in Griffin.

Rivers guided the Boston Celtics to the 2008 title over the Los Angeles Lakers. However, he hasn’t gotten past the second round of the playoffs as a coach since 2012. 

It will be fascinating to see how far the Bucks go in the 2024 playoffs. Milwaukee won the 2021 title against the Phoenix Suns but lost to the Celtics in the 2022 Eastern Conference Semifinals and fell to the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2023 playoffs. 

The Bucks are second in the NBA in points per game (122.0) and 23rd in points per game allowed (118.8). One source told Hoops Wire that Milwaukee’s front office fired Griffin because of how poor the defense was. 

Bucks ownership was confident that Rivers could turn the team’s defense around. However, thus far, it looks like Milwaukee made a mistake firing Griffin and hiring Rivers, who has blown several 3-1 leads in the playoffs during his coaching career. 

The Bucks take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in their first game after the All-Star break. The Timberwolves (39-16) have the best record in the Western Conference. 

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