Doc Rivers Suggests Travel Crew May Be to Blame For Bucks' Road Losses

Why are the Bucks struggling on the road? Only Doc Rivers knows.
Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks
Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Bucks have lost four of their last five games and are clinging to a 1.5-game lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. On Wednesday nightm they dropped a home game to the Memphis Grizzlies, who started Scotty Pippen Jr. and Trey Jemison. The night before they lost to the Washington Wizards.

It was the loss to the Wizards that had Doc Rivers answering some big questions. Mainly, what the heck is going on with this team on the road? Milwaukee is just 18-20 in away games this season and losing to the Wizards under any circumstances in 2024 is reason enough to do some pondering. But Doc has been doing more than pondering. He's also been observing. Keenly. And he told the press about it following the loss in Washington.

"You know, it's funny," Rivers said. "I've actually been sitting back and watching everything. Not just our players, but our travel crew. Everything. And I've made a lot of notes. I will say that. I won't share that. But we don't bring the necessary professionalism, seriousness on the road. And that's something we can fix. And that's something we're going to have to fix."

Asked a follow-up question, Rivers again mentioned the performance of the travel staff.

"I'm looking at it for the long run too. It's not just for now. We've got to be a better road team. If we're not, we're doing something wrong. As a coaching staff we have to figure out what we need to do different as far as practices and training. As a travel staff, not talking players, we may have to do something different there too. Because something's missing and everybody seems happy, you know? Except for me after a game. So I just think we're doing something wrong and we need to figure that out."

When teams are struggling it's not unusual for the coach to suggest the players or coaches need to make adjustments, but this might be the first time anyone has ever pointed to the "travel staff." Is this about hotel accomodations? Pilots and bus drivers? The way jerseys are laid out in the visitors locker room?

It's unfortunate Rivers said he isn't going to share his notes on the situation because whatever is going on with the travel staff sounds fascinating. Especially since the players are apparently still in a good mood. You would think they would be the ones most affected by these behind-the-scenes issues that are apparently contributing to the losses. Only Doc knows for sure and he currently just sitting back and watching.

Stephen Douglas is a staff writer for The Big Lead.

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Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.