Milwaukee Bucks interim coach Jim Boylan has shown a willingness on numerous occasions to bench point guard Brandon Jennings if things are not going well. Boylan did just that in the Bucks' 100-92 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, and Jennings made it be known afterward that he was not happy about it.
Boylan pulled the plug on Jennings early in the third quarter after the point guard was beaten by Jrue Holiday on a drive to the basket. Jennings did not play the rest of the game, finishing with zero points and three assists on 0-of-3 shooting in 17 minutes.
After the game, Jennings vented his frustration to Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
"This is the third time I've been benched in the second half and it hasn't been under (former coach Scott) Skiles," Jennings said after the game. "You always want to be out there to help your team.
"I don't see any All-Stars in this locker room so I think everybody should be held accountable, like anybody else. There's no maxed-out players in this locker room; there's no All-Stars. So don't try to put me on a pedestal and just give everybody else the freedom to do whatever they want."
Jennings went on to accuse Boylan of singling him out, again referencing that it's the third time this type of benching has happened. When asked, Boylan simply said he was looking for a spark and that Jennings was not bringing the necessary energy on both ends of the court. Monta Ellis wound up playing point guard the rest of the game.
The decision actually worked at first, as the Bucks stormed back from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter to take a lead going into the fourth quarter. But the offense fell apart in the fourth, which made the decision to keep Jennings on the bench the entire time rather strange. Sure, he was not playing all that well, but he's a player who can get hot in a hurry, something Milwaukee desperately needed as it scored just 14 points in the final frame.
Despite the fact that they are safely in the playoffs, the Bucks are in a bit of turmoil right now, having lost seven of their last nine. And it's certainly never good when one of your best players is feuding with the coach heading into the postseason. Adding to the drama, of course, is the fact that Jennings is set to become a restricted free agent, and even though Boylan likely won't be the head coach going forward, you never know what kind of effect these types of incidents can have.
The Bucks are back in action right away on Thursday, as they will be taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Milwaukee. It will be interesting to see how Jennings responds to the benching.