The reasons for Skiles' success

The reasons for Skiles' success


By Jimmy Majewski


                The NBA regular season is coming to an end, and with that, comes regular season achievement awards. One member of the Milwaukee Bucks who will be in the running for an award is Head Coach Scott Skiles.


So far this season, Coach Skiles has led his team to a (44-34) record, which has once again been for the most part without former All-Star Michael Redd, who went down with a torn ACL, and MCL in January. 


                As for why Coach Skiles has been able to make this team so successful this season, Bucks Guard Charlie Bell says he feels it’s because Skiles treats everyone as equals.


                “He holds everyone accountable. I think that’s something you don’t see a lot these days by head coaches. Sometimes you give star players the star treatment, but he treats everybody the same. Everybody respects that, and everyone knows that if you’re not playing hard, you’re not going to play,” he said.


Recognition for Skiles will be nothing new this season, as he has already been named Coach of the Month for February, in which he guided the team to a (10-4) record.


 Bucks Center Dan Gadzuric says he feels Skiles has added cohesiveness to the team.


“He turned it around, and moved it in the right direction, upward. He’s been really focusing on defense, and trying to have everybody on the same page. He has us locked in to create a certain chemistry that we can put together and build something out of, and go as high as we can go,” he said.


Charlie Bell says that the number one reason Skiles should win the Coach of the Year award is based on how the experts predicted the Bucks to finish the season. Meanwhile, the team has done nothing but prove those people wrong.


“I think that when you look at what we’ve been through this season with injuries, and where we’re at, I don’t think anybody really thought we’d be here. Especially at the beginning of the year with a healthy team, nobody thought playoffs,” he said.


Coaching Competition


According to a few Bucks players, the other top expected competitor for the Coach of the Year award is Oklahoma City Thunder Head Coach, Scott Brooks.


Bucks Guard Brandon Jennings said, “I think he should Coach Skiles should get it, no doubt about it, hands down. It’s out of him, and the coach for the Thunder. But, if anything they both should get it to tell you the truth.”


Center Kurt Thomas said, “He’s definitely right up there at the top. It’d definitely be a great honor for him. He definitely should be considered. He’s one of the best coaches I would say, between Scott Skiles and Scott Brooks.”


                Charlie Bell said that while both coaches have a talented team, the situations are much different.


                “There are some other great coaches out there. You look at Oklahoma City, they’ve got a lot of talent. But we’ve had a lot of injuries, and dealt with a lot of adversity this year, and we’ll just continue to work through it.”


Brooks took over the Thunder on an interim basis last season, but then was appointed to full-time head coach. He took over a team that went (23-59) last season, but has turned the team around this season, with a record of (48-30)


The Next Step


                Dan Gadzuric said that while Skiles should get Coach of the Year, the main focus still remains on getting the job done in the playoffs.


“I think he should definitely get Coach of the Year. What he did with this program, he really moved it upwards, did tremendous things, and everybody’s excited. Right now we’ve got a chance to do something in the Playoffs, so we just have to keep our focus, and keep working hard,” he said.


Milwaukee clinched a playoff berth for the first time since the 2005-2006 Season April 6, with a win against Scott Skiles’ old ball club, the Chicago Bulls.


                Bucks Guard Charlie Bell says he feels clinching early showed how good this team actually is. “With all the injuries we’ve had, and still making the playoffs, we didn’t just make the playoffs. We clinched it with six, seven games to go.”


But in the same week the Bucks clinched a playoff spot, they were dealt a huge blow, as Andrew Bogut landed awkwardly after a dunk on April 3. Bogut suffered a dislocated right elbow, a sprained wrist, and a broken hand, forcing him to be done for the season.


Finding Stability


Coach Skiles has led his Bucks to their first winning season since the 2002-2003 Season. That year marked the final year George Karl was Head Coach for the Bucks.


                The team has been searching for coaching stability since Karl left, as Milwaukee has gone through four different coaches since Karl. Meanwhile, all Karl has done since leaving Milwaukee is lead the Denver Nuggets to five straight playoff appearances.


                It seems as though they have finally found that stability from their leader with their second-year Head Coach, Scott Skiles.


                Skiles is a former NBA player himself, and currently holds the record for most assists in a single game, with 30.

                His rise to being a head coach started in Phoenix, where he was elevated from assistant coach to head coach during the 1999 season. There, he was head coach for three years, and led the Suns to the playoffs two times during that span.


                Skiles then took over the head coaching duties for the Chicago Bulls for the 2003-2004 Season. In the three full seasons he had coaching the Bulls, he made the playoffs each of those years. He was fired from the team however during the 2007-2008 Season, after his team got off to a (9-16) start.


                The Milwaukee Bucks named him head coach in April of 2008, and in his first season as coach, he led the team to a (34-48) record.  The team however was without Michael Redd, and Andrew Bogut for most of the season due to injury.



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