The team is in last place at present.
MILWAUKEE – Terry Stotts was fired Wednesday as coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, who are struggling this season after injuries to key players.
An interim coach was not announced for Thursday night’s against San Antonio, general manager Larry Harris said.
“Terry has done the best he could in a difficult situation, especially with all of our injuries,” Harris said of his coach for less than two seasons. “I felt it was in the best interest of our organization to make the decision now and move forward, rather than wait until the end of the regular season.”
The Bucks have dealt with a spate of injuries, including the loss of top scorer Michael Redd for 20 games as the team went 3-17 without him. Milwaukee is 23-41, last in the Central Division.
The Bucks were expected to be much improved with Redd’s return, but may have hit their lowest point Monday after losing by 15 at home to the Raptors.
Stotts was hired as the team’s ninth coach in June 2005 after Harris let Terry Porter go. Stotts was a favorite of owner Herb Kohl. The U.S. senator got to know the 13-year NBA veteran coach while Stotts was an assistant under then-Bucks coach George Karl.
Stotts and Harris made good on their promise to return to the playoffs in 2005-06, but the Bucks stumbled badly down the stretch, finishing 40-42 with the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and losing in five games to Detroit.
This season, the Bucks lost forward Bobby Simmons, the team’s second-leading scorer last year, with foot and ankle injuries that required two operations before their first game. Fellow starter Charlie Villanueva missed significant time with a torn ligament in his elbow and shoulder tendinitis.
Redd hurt a tendon in his left knee on a meaningless dunk at the end of a loss to Cleveland on Jan. 5 and missed 20 games. Starting backcourt mate Mo Williams sprained his shoulder in the next game, causing him to miss nine games as well.
Milwaukee, which had been 16-15 at one point, hit another low on Feb. 14, losing by 20 points to Boston, which had dropped a franchise-worst 18 games at the time.
No doubt the Bucks have been underacheivers this year, and Stotts firing should come as no surprise but as James Joyner might say, I don’t think the coach was the problem.
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