Skiles to return for final year of Bucks contract

Associated Press Modified: May 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm •  Published: May 1, 2012
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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Scott Skiles will return to coach the Milwaukee Bucks next season.

Skiles told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Tuesday that he would be back as the team's coach. His agent, Keith Glass, confirmed the decision in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Glass said Skiles would not necessarily receive an extension before next season. Skiles has a year left on his contract, which was extended in 2010.

Bucks officials did not immediately confirm the decision.

Skiles is 146-166 in four seasons with the Bucks. He led Milwaukee to a 46-win season and made the playoffs in 2009-2010, where the Bucks lost to the Atlanta Hawks. They have missed the postseason two straight seasons since then.

The 2011-12 Bucks didn't really fit Skiles' typical hardnosed, defense-first approach to the game. They averaged 99 points per game this season, fifth-most in the league. An impressive passing team when they were at their best, the Bucks averaged 23.5 assists per game — third-best in the league.

But they gave up 98.7 points per game, putting them in the lower third of the NBA. And they were outrebounded by an average of 2.24 per game, the fifth-worst margin in the league.

Certainly, the Bucks' defensive and rebounding stats were hurt by the absence of Andrew Bogut, who spent much of the season struggling with more of the injury problems that have dogged his career.

During his four seasons in Milwaukee, Skiles never had Bogut — the No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft — healthy for a full season. Then Bogut was traded to Golden State in a deal that sent gifted scorer Monta Ellis to Milwaukee. Skiles scrambled to fit Ellis and defensive-minded forward Ekpe Udoh into the team with a little more than a month left in the season.

Speaking to reporters the day after the Bucks lost their regular-season finale at Boston, Skiles sidestepped a question about whether he wanted to be back next season.

"I have a contract with the team," Skiles said at the time. "This is not a great time, probably, to ask or answer that question. It's a disappointing season. I'm as responsible as anyone, probably more so, for the results of this season. I realize that. I would never run from something like that. I think I deserve, though, a few days to decompress before I get into detail about it."