(Part-1) Adrian Griffin's firing suggests further Bucks changes.

Milwaukee continued to rumble. First-year head coach Adrian Griffin had a tough start from assistant coach Terry Stotts' resignation before the season to the Bucks' in-season struggles.

Even with a 30-13 record and the NBA's second-ranked offense, Milwaukee fired Griffin on Tuesday. League sources told Yahoo Sports that the Bucks' porous defense and, more importantly, their players' and staffers' confusion and disconnect about the team's schematic approach were too difficult to overcome in such a crucial season with no goal other than reclaiming the championship they won with Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021.

The Bucks parted ways with Mike Budenholzer, who led Antetokounmpo's team to a title three years ago, after they lost in the first round of last spring's playoffs. League insiders say Milwaukee quickly hired Doc Rivers from ESPN's broadcast booth because of that ultimate goal. The Bucks must quickly establish a fresh locker room voice.

The Bucks had a tighter deadline this summer. In October, Antetokounmpo had yet to sign his three-year, $186 million contract deal, giving Milwaukee's MVP candidate genuine influence over Budenholzer's replacement, sources said. Yahoo Sports sources said Antetokounmpo did not want Nick Nurse

 Griffin, Nurse's Toronto assistant coach, was desired. Griffin was credited with helping Nurse and the Raptors' creative defensive schemes, as a former player who could command the Bucks' locker room and a coach who could bring exotic, malleable defenses that Budenholzer would never use in tough playoff games.

This clock ticked silently in the background. In the current NBA, All-Stars may seek a trade without warning, and opposing executives are more eager than ever to speculate about their availability. As much as league personnel have speculated about Donovan Mitchell's potential exit from Cleveland, hopeful team staffers repeatedly mention the Bucks' pressure to give Antetokounmpo the contending opportunity he wants to avoid joining the fabled ranks of players who changed franchises.

Griffin was a top league coaching contender for years. Sources stated he was a Sixers 2013 candidate and wowed Sam Hinkie, a decade before Griffin appeared on an NBA sideline with the Bucks. Milwaukee dealing for Damian Lillard only made Griffin's first job worse by increasing the burden of guiding a club with such high expectations

 Lillard is a deadly scorer, but as a previous franchise player, he would always need to adjust to playing with an alpha like Antetokounmpo. That's before considering Milwaukee's rich veteran roster, from Brook Lopez to Bobby Portis, who all have significant voices.

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