76ers, Bucks, and Suns without head coaches after +.500 seasons


The Philadelphia 76ers (154-82), Milwaukee Bucks (155-81), and Phoenix Suns (160-76) have the best records over the last three seasons, and now all three teams are without their head coach. Milwaukee fired Mike Budenholzer following the team’s first-round series loss to the Miami Heat.

Phoenix then fired Monty Williams after the Suns lost last Thursday’s Game 6 second-round matchup at home against the Denver Nuggets. Tuesday afternoon, the Sixers dismissed Doc Rivers after Philadelphia lost 112-88 to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 this past Sunday.

According to a few NBA betting sites, J.J. Reddick is the favorite to become the next head coach of the 76ers. Sportsbooks also show great odds for Monty Williams, Nick Nurse, and Jay Wright as well.

Here are the aforementioned coaches’ last three NBA playoff records:

  • Doc Rivers: 20-15 (.571)
  • Mike Budenholzer: 24-16 (.600)
  • Monty Williams: 27-19 (.587)

Last two NBA postseason records:

  • Doc Rivers: 13-10 (.565)
  • Mike Budenholzer: 8-9 (.471)
  • Monty Williams: 13-11 (.542)

Sixers coach Doc Rivers was named the 25th head coach in 76ers franchise history on Oct. 2, 2020. “Doc is one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, a future Hall of Famer, and someone I respect immensely,” 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said.

“We’re grateful for all he did in his three seasons here and thank him for the important impact he made on our franchise. After having the chance to reflect upon our season, we decided that certain changes are necessary to further our goals of competing for a championship.”

76ers (154-82), Bucks (155-81), and Suns (160-76) have NBA-best records over last three seasons, all three franchises fired their coaches and Doc Rivers underachieved?

Doc Rivers has an NBA-worst 17-33 record in series-clinching scenarios and 6-10 in Game 7s. He’s lost 10 straight second-round close-out games. Of course, the Celtics improved to 9-1 in their last 10 elimination games against Philadelphia.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 76ers’ coaching search is expected to include Mike Budenholzer, Sam Cassell, Mike D’Antoni, Nick Nurse, Frank Vogel, and Monty Williams. Nurse was fired by the Toronto Raptors after the team finished 41-41 and ninth in the Eastern Conference standings, missing the playoffs.

“I’ve been thinking more about the great, proven coaches that have lost their jobs,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said on Tuesday. “It just doesn’t make sense to me, you know. When you have the same guy, you have an opportunity to start again without revamping the whole culture. … It takes so much time and energy to restart something.”

Under Rivers, the 76ers reached three straight Eastern Conference semifinals. However, the Sixers never advanced any further. Philadelphia has not won an NBA championship since 1983, and the team has not appeared in a championship series since 2001. At least the Bucks won a title in 2021.

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