Milwaukee Bucks: Doc Rivers Reveals Why He ‘Went Away’ from Key Giannis Antetokounmpo Scheme Early On

Time proved to be a major factor in Doc Rivers‘ first season with the Milwaukee Bucks. Ultimately, there just wasn’t enough of it after the former NBA champion shot-caller joined the squad mid-season. While Rivers did an admirable job of making the most of his limited time to develop a squad to his liking, the Bucks still fell way short of their objectives this season.

Apr 3, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks on in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 3, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks on in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, however, Rivers is adamant that things are going to be much different in 2024-25.

Milwaukee Bucks News: Doc Rivers Sheds Light on Relationship With Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis AntetokounmpoDec 27, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) warms up before the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Rivers recently opened up about his current standing with Bucks cornerstone superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Apparently, the pair have built a productive two-way relationship where they are able to openly speak about what they like in each other, and perhaps also the things that they do not.

Giannis, in particular, voiced out a specific scheme that Rivers used early on in the latter’s tenure. When questioned by the former back-to-back MVP as to why Rivers opted to turn his back on the tactic, the head coach got brutally honest in his response:

“With Giannis, it was the same thing,” Rivers said, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “‘Hey, you started using me in these different places.’ And he pointed to exactly one place he loved that we used him at. ‘Are we going to do that more?’ I said, ‘We want to do that all the time.’

“Then there’s something I did earlier in the year when I first got here that he loved, and he asked why I went away from it, and I just told him, ‘No practice time. We didn’t have enough time. So you liked it but the other guys couldn’t run it, so, to me, I had to kind of make the choice to just take it away.’ It’s funny, though. I didn’t know he liked it that much. These conversations are really important for these guys and really important for me.”

Milwaukee Bucks, Doc RiversFeb 6, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers talks with forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the third quarter of the game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The good news is that the Bucks now have more than enough time on their hands. Their summer vacation started much earlier than they had hoped, which only means that they should all be ready and raring to go once the offseason preparation officially begins.

With a full offseason of preparation ahead of him, we should be able to see what Doc Rivers can truly bring to the table for the Bucks.
Milwaukee Bucks, Doc RiversApr 30, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee head coach Doc R during game five of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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