Sherriff Skiles Rides Into Milwaukee
Rumor has it Scott Skiles has verbally agreed to be the next coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Welcome to the soap opera that is Scott Skiles, Wisconsin.
Skiles is at his best as a sort of frontier sherriff, riding into town and restoring order. He works his players hard and he burns them out. Don’t expect him to stick around for 5 years, but he can make a world of difference for a couple seasons.
The first thing where you’ll notice a difference next year is on defense. Skiles likes few things better than defense and effort, so Michael Ruffin and him will probably get on all right. Past that, well… Skiles has some quirks.
First off, Skiles rides his players hard and puts them away wet. If a player, particularly a young player, has any issues with self-confidence or self-esteem, Skiles is perfectly capable of destroying them. He may think it’s tought love, but I’ve seen the once promising Mike Sweetney collapse into a shell, and this year, Thabo Shefolosha looked like a pile of quivering jello until Skiles was shown the door. He can have the nervous player looking over his shoulder like the IRS was chasing him.
Skiles also doesn’t seem to believe in a regular rotation, in terms of first team and second team. Players don’t always know when they’re going to play or when they’re going to leave the game. If the players like structure, this is going to drive them up a wall.
Skiles has a strange notion of what a power forward is. To him, the center is the guy who scores in the post, and the power forward slashes and takes jump shots. Interestingly, this meshes with the Bucks. Both Yi and Villanueva have some range on their shot, so this might be a good thing. Still, Skiles was terrible at developing post/pivot players in Chicago, so you’re going to want to make sure you’ve got a quality big man coach on the bench to supplement him.
All this said, Milwaukee should improve under Skiles. He gets effort out of his teams… at least until they get sick of him. The Bucks have a legit star in Michael Redd and a decent supporting cast with some depth at forward. If he can develop Ramon Sessions at point, and not send the young player into therapy, its quite possible you could see a turnaround similar to what happened in Chicago. Just remember to watch for the signs in his second year for the team to grow tired of his antics and be ready to pull the hook. I fully endorse Skiles as a turnaround artist, I don’t know if he’s good for the long haul.