Central Notes: Bucks, Boylen, Pistons, McRae

If the 2019/20 season can’t be resumed, few – if any – teams will be hit harder than the Bucks, who had an NBA-best 53-12 record before the league’s hiatus began. For now though, the club is still operating as if it will get a chance to resume play and pursue a championship, as Eric Woodyard of ESPN details.

“We are operating and functioning and just have a mentality that we will play,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said on Wednesday in a conference call. “… Luckily, Adam Silver and the league office, they’ll make the hard decisions and they’ll do what’s best for everybody, but I think it’s certainly important that we kind of operate and have a mentality that we will play again, and we’ll be excited about that if and when it does happen.”

While Budenholzer admitted that he has been using some of his unexpected time off to catch up on TV shows like ‘Ozark’ and ‘Game of Thrones,’ he has also been spending plenty of time studying potential playoff opponents. As Woodyard relays, the Bucks’ head coach has focused on Brooklyn and Orlando, but is also looking at film on possible Eastern Conference opponents beyond the first round.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago doesn’t believe that the new front office executive eventually hired by the Bulls will be given a mandate to retain Jim Boylen as his head coach. President/COO Michael Reinsdorf and VP of basketball operations John Paxson have been highly supportive of Boylen, but if Chicago’s top front office candidate makes it clear he wants to hire a new coach, that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, Johnson writes.
  • James L. Edwards III and John Hollinger of The Athletic teamed up for an in-depth look at the Pistons‘ future, exploring which players should be long-term fixtures. In Hollinger’s view, no one on the current roster is capable of being the best player on a good team down the road, including Sekou Doumbouya.
  • Appearing on the Wizards Talk podcast with NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller, Pistons guard Jordan McRae spoke about his experience being quarantined after teammate Christian Wood tested positive for COVID-19. McRae also shared the story of how he indirectly predicted his trade out of Washington at February’s deadline.
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