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Old 04-30-2008, 08:16 PM   #1
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Default Avery Johnson out, Coach D next?

Avery Johnson got canned today. Mike D'Antoni is rumored to be next but GM Steve Kerr has refuted reports that he's out.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3375306

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3374706

Good call on both (if Coach D is out).

Thoughts?
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:47 PM   #2
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The coach is always blamed for playoff failures no matter how good his regular season is. However a coach is most effective in the regular season, in the playoffs it is all about superstars. I watched the Dallas game the other night and I was watching David West taking over in the third quarter and wonder why Dirk would not take to challenge to go over and defend him. A superstar puts his imprint on the game at both ends of the floor, he takes over and wills his team to a win in these situations. Dirk does not seem to have this in him.

As a contrasting example Atlanta's Joe Johnson the other night took it upon himself to guard Paul Pierce and dominate on the offensive end and willed the Hawks to a win. He might have SAVED his coach's job in the process will Dirk's lack of desire to do this cost his coach.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:53 PM   #3
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Most coaches have a shelf life where they hit a wall with their players. Some times it's more the players but it's still the coach who has to find the solution.

In Johnson's case, it's his time. He lost this team awhile back. I don't doubt there's enough blame to go around but it's still a reflection of how inexperienced Johnson is. Give him credit for inspiring them to what they've accomplished but he's not the guy for the next phase in Dallas.

excerpt:

"When the Heat won four straight after losing the first two, there was talk of Pat Riley outcoaching Johnson and of Johnson panicking during the series by switching hotels in Miami. More talk of getting outcoached came up after the 67-win season went down in flames to, of all people, Nelson.

The knock this time was mostly over his use of Kidd. He and Cuban even had a shouting match in the coach's office following a home loss to the Lakers.

Johnson's rift with his club was apparent during the five-game series against the New Orleans Hornets.

Down 2-0, he said to blame him, but it came off as sarcastic because he added it was his fault the players were missing layups, free throws and defensive assignments. Then, after losing Game 4, Johnson canceled an off-day practice, but the players went through a workout anyway - without the coaches."
Link

You can't have these scenarios but if you do, it's time to go cuz you've lost the players regardless of who gets more of them blame.

D'Antoni is an offensive coach first who believes more in burying opponents in points than with D. His philosophy & the type of offensive players who refuse to bunker down on D are the reason why the Suns won't go anywhere. Now they saddled with an aging Shaq who was only going to shore up the middle on a team who was supposedly serious about D but now is just being exploited to the point that he was repeatedly asked to guard Parker on switches.

That's just a microcosm of D'Antoni's failings in Phoenix. Time for him to go too.

Then on to the players on both teams next. Spring cleaning is a good thing...
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:13 PM   #4
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Rumor is that Avery may end up in Chicago and D'Antoni in Toronto.

The only problem for Phoenix and Dallas is where to go from here? Phoenix has to be careful who they hire or Shaq will shut down again just like he did in Miami.

Dallas is going to live to regret giving up Devin Harris for Jason Kidd.
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Old 05-03-2008, 01:18 PM   #5
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Report: Carlisle to be named coach of Mavericks

That didn't take long...
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Old 05-03-2008, 02:22 PM   #6
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I am not sure it really matters who is coaching the team right now. This team peaked two years ago and simply replacing Avery Johnson is not going to get them back to the Finals. They are going to need to make some roster changes as well.
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:19 PM   #7
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Now that the Mavs job is all but filled the Suns are reportedly giving D'Antoni permission to talk to the Bulls and Knicks about their openings:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3381686
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Old 05-05-2008, 03:30 PM   #8
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& for the record, I don't want to see either one in Chicago.
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:50 PM   #9
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Well, what better options are there right now for the Bulls? It is either one of those two or taking some retread like Fratello or Van Gundy who have had more than enough chances to show they are not the answer for anyone or roll the dice on an unknown assistant and hope it works out before guys like Deng, Gordon, and Hinrich decide it is time for them to move on to a contender.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:12 PM   #10
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The Bulls have waited way too long on this one. Just like the Skiles scenario where you leave an assistant in his place, they have waited till their choices are dwindling. There really is no answer amongst these guys IMO.

Sure, a fresh face is better than an old face but I don't like the fresh faces philosophies. As far as doing something before players like Gordon, Hinrich, Deng go, they've already gone mentally.

Besides, Pax should have gotten rid of Gordon way back when for some value cuz this kid will always be a liability on D & not starter material. He also never should have attempted a trade for Bryant which played out in the press & destroyed almost every Bull since they all were mentioned in some type of collective deal. There's been more gaffes but that's enough before I start a rant.

I would have liked him to go after someone like a Larry Brown back then who while being a short term coach, would have brought stability & a winning attitude. Dumping your team, who's already gone thru all the lows back with Curry, Chandler, etc. & then thru a climb into the playoffs, with an assistant last year was suicide. I just don't like either Johnson or D'Antoni...period.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:18 AM   #11
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I am not a huge D'Antoni guy just because you need to have some sort of defensive presence if you want to win in April and May and he just does not seem to grasp that concept. I think Avery still has something to prove though. Anyone who thinks by simply replacing Avery with someone else is going to fix Dallas' woes is kidding themselves.

Granted, his time may have been up in Dallas but I am not ready to write him off just yet as he seems to have a feel for what it takes to win he just did not have the right personnel this spring to do it. Of the two Johnson still has a shot at being a very good NBA coach, but unless D'Antoni makes some fundamental changes he is going to be just another Jeff Van Gundy or Mike Fratello where he is good enough to get his teams to 50 wins a year and win a few playoff games but never win the big one.

It sounds like the Bulls are close to locking up D'Antoni:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3383366
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:33 AM   #12
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Agreed about D'Antoni. He definitely has a resume but it's just like everyone's said all along...doesn't coach both sides of the floor. The Bulls don't have the talent to compete if they don't stay a feisty, active defensive team. I don't see D'Antoni doing that...

Johnson needs seasoning. I think he still has some time to gain experience but I also think the Bulls, who have turned back into a project team with delicate psyches, is not the place he'll get it.

I saw that ESPN article & I'm not pleased but like you pointed out, there's not much to choose from. If I was forced, Johnson would be the better cuz of his youth, upside & his being a former player. Truth be told, I think Skiles had grown tremendously as a coach & matured to the point that I think his dismissal was a mistake.

IMO Pax should have shown Skiles the support & weathered the storm by putting the onus back on the players while they understood it was their jobs that were at stake, not the coach's.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:19 PM   #13
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What I want to know is what is Plan B for the Suns? I thought I heard something about Kerr shooting down the rumor that he was going to take over the bench if D'Antoni leaves. As I stated earlier they need to be very particular in who they hire as Shaq will not play for just anyone.
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Old 05-07-2008, 04:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublee View Post
I am not a huge D'Antoni guy just because you need to have some sort of defensive presence if you want to win in April and May and he just does not seem to grasp that concept. I think Avery still has something to prove though. Anyone who thinks by simply replacing Avery with someone else is going to fix Dallas' woes is kidding themselves.

Granted, his time may have been up in Dallas but I am not ready to write him off just yet as he seems to have a feel for what it takes to win he just did not have the right personnel this spring to do it. Of the two Johnson still has a shot at being a very good NBA coach, but unless D'Antoni makes some fundamental changes he is going to be just another Jeff Van Gundy or Mike Fratello where he is good enough to get his teams to 50 wins a year and win a few playoff games but never win the big one.

It sounds like the Bulls are close to locking up D'Antoni:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3383366
Tark makes a good point about the Bulls' roster being designed more for defense than D'Antoni's up-tempo style, but from D'Antoni's standpoint, it does make some sense. He's going from an aging team on the decline (Nash is old, as is Shaq, and they traded away draft picks) to a younger talented team that has been in the playoffs the last three years. He may have a brighter future in Chicago.

Rick Carlisle to Dallas. Bleh.
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Old 05-07-2008, 04:42 PM   #15
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Sure it is a good move for D'Antoni as the Bulls are younger and potentially more athletic than the aging Suns are. But, the point is that this is a bad move for the Bulls because without any kind of a defensive presence out there you are simply a paper tiger and crash and burn in the playoffs. That is why Phoenix always loses to a team like San Antonio in the playoffs and why the Spurs win every other year.
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