The Milwaukee Bucks fell to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, ending what was a roller-coaster of a campaign. Plagued with playoff injuries, the Bucks' season took a rough tumble, culminating in a six-game elimination at the hands of a young Indiana team. Nevertheless, Doc Rivers isn't giving up on his squad and the city they represent. Asked about his future with Milwaukee, the head coach opened up on what it means to be a part of the Wisconsin-based franchise.

“I have an amazing appreciation for the city I live in, Milwaukee now,” Rivers said, per NBA TV. “You know it's funny, I was there in college and I thought a lot about it. (I) didn't realize how much it would mean to me until I got the job. And I started thinking about all the guys…and all the professors at Marquette, and I probably wouldn't be here if I hadn't gone to that school.”

“So (in) a lot of ways, I feel like I’m gonna do whatever I can for this franchise. I think we can win, (and) I’m gonna to do everything I can to create that because it means more to me than you think,” he added.

Prior to the season, Rivers was without a team, having parted ways with the Philadelphia 76ers after the 2023 playoffs. All of a sudden, he was called up to take over a highly-seeded Bucks team in the wake of Adrian Griffin's firing.

It hasn't gone well for the 62-year-old, who finished his first regular season in Milwaukee with a 17-19 record. And topping that off, a 2-4 playoff standing against the Pacers followed. It all culminated in Thursday's frustrating loss.

The Bucks end their season on Thursday

Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles the ball while Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard (2) defends during game six of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucks tasted the lead early in the game, but that was as far as they'd go. Indiana took the lead late in the first quarter, and mainly due to 50 bench points, the Pacers never trailed afterward.

Damian Lillard returned from a two-game absence to score 28 points while Bobby Portis and Brook Lopez finished their seasons with 20 points apiece. Unfortunately, being without Giannis Antetokounmpo the entire series eventually took its toll on the Bucks.

Going back to Rivers, one can say that he was suddenly called to captain a moving ship. A mid-season coaching change isn't easy, no matter how experienced the candidates are. At least he'll finally have the chance to engage in a full summer of preparation before the upcoming season. In a league such as the NBA, step-by-step progress is detrimental for optimal results.

“I can't wait to get started — to get to camp and be able to put all the things we think we need,” Rivers added.

The season may be over for the Bucks, but they're one team that shouldn't be counted out moving forward. If Doc Rivers can find the right formula for Antetokounmpo and Lillard in the offseason, then it won't be pretty for opponents come October.