The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Brooklyn Nets 107-96 on Sunday afternoon to even their best-of-seven series at 2-2.
One of the big reasons why Milwaukee was able to secure such a strong victory over the Nets was an unfortunate injury to Kyrie Irving. As a result of it, the remainder of the series is very much in doubt.
Until Irving got hurt, however, Brooklyn seemed firmly in control of the proceedings.
And that led to a lot of speculation about the future of Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer.
According to a recent podcast appearance by ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, if Milwaukee doesn’t beat Brooklyn, there appears to be a better than not chance that Budenholzer will be shown the door come the end of this season.
“If Game 3 was the apex of this series for them, I think it’s very unlikely and very difficult for them to keep Bud,” he said.
“He has a year left on his deal. They could have extended him early in the season or in the offseason. They chose not to. They were going to really ride this year out. I don’t know if he has to come back and win it… If it ends in a thud, it’s hard to imagine he’s back.”
Wojnarowski’s guest on the show, Malika Andrews, seems to agree with this assessment.
Budenholzer was ultimately granted a reprieve last year with very clear conditions. That was the exchange he had to agree to in order to continue coaching Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
Antetokounmpo has some very notable flaws, but there’s a reason why Kevin Durant has spoken in such glowing terms about him. He is a legit superstar, and Budenholzer should fare better than he has up to this point just by virtue of that alone.
Flaming out of the playoffs in the second-round this year would be a failure to meet the conditions Budenholzer agreed to at the end of last season.
As such, if Milwaukee ultimately fails to get past the Nets this week – expect Budenholzer to promptly be shown the door.