We’ve had a lot of coaching moves during these Conference Finals. Here are my thoughts on the latest hires.
Kings hire Dave Joerger
I think Dave Joerger got treated unfairly in Memphis. That guy led a crappy and injury-riddled team to the postseason. Sure, maybe there was tension with the front office. But if you’re Memphis, don’t you figure that stuff out to keep this good of a coach?
The Kings got a great coach, which we have said many times before. Joerger has to know what he is getting himself into with the Kings. They are discombobulated beyond belief. I could run this team better.
I hope the Kings realize for once what kinda coach they landed. It probably won’t happen, and he’ll be out in a year. But Joerger can get the most out of his players. That goes miles when it comes to dealing with DeMarcus Cousins.
I think this is a smart hire by the Kings. But I’m also excited to rip them in one year for firing him after a “disappointing season”.
Pacers hire Nate McMillan
I don’t know a lot about Nate McMillan. However, based off everything I have read, it seems like this is a solid hire.
Most concerns with McMillan seem to be his ability to adjust to new ways. Teams in the NBA are doing just that.
The Pacers have a good roster to adjust. Its just gonna take McMillan’s buy-in. Myles Turner is awesome and is a true stretch 4, necessary for today’s NBA.
Indiana’s biggest needs are good guards. Based off last season, George Hill and Monta Ellis aren’t gonna get it done. Thats something McMillan is gonna have to deal with until the higher-ups improve it.
I would think that the Pacers wouldn’t have hired McMillan unless he bought into the way they were gonna play. If thats the case, then this should turn out okay. I still think letting Frank Vogel go was a mistake (more on that later).
Knicks hire Jeff Hornacek
This was definitely one of the biggest surprises of the coaching carousel. It was shocking that Phil Jackson went away from his tree, and is going to shy away from the Triangle.
When Jeff Hornacek was hired, I couldn’t happy enough for him. He was unfairly let go in Phoenix, which is something I’m still bitter about as a Suns fan. He’s probably my Dad’s favorite player of all-time (Thats not confirmed) and is one of mine. We’re happy for him.
But at the same time, when the hiring was first announced, it was a tad confusing, I’ll admit. It shied away from everything Phil Jackson has preached and said. Hornacek’s offense in Phoenix was fit for today’s modern NBA. We know Jackson’s views don’t fit that.
As more information came out, it was said that Jackson wouldn’t force Hornacek to run the triangle, which is smart. I think a offense ran by Hornacek with triangle elements could be really dicey. We’re in an innovative time right now. Teams are doing all they can to find new ways to play, all because of the way the NBA is going.
I’m not saying this is gonna be revolutionary, but its worth a shot, right? Why not?
The Knicks need a point guard first, and I think theres a good chance that point guard is Mike Conley or Ricky Rubio. But for now, the Knicks made a good hire.
Magic hire Frank Vogel
Frank Vogel was unfairly let go in Indiana. I was amazed that Larry Bird would let such a good coach go.
Vogel did a great job developing guys in Indiana, and he’s gonna have the same job in Orlando. The Magic are a super young and raw team, but have plenty of talent for the long run. They just need time and training. I think Vogel is the right guy to lead them.
Wizards hire Scott Brooks
Its really hard to judge this move without considering the Wizards’ chances at Kevin Durant. Which are, lets say, gone.
Its still pretty fishy. I think Scott Brooks is a decent coach who was made out better than he is in Oklahoma City, due to the star-power they had there. He was still unfairly let go from there.
Brooks has some issues to work out in Washington. They have to figure out whether they’re gonna pay Bradley Beal. They have an issue at power forward. Most of last season’s struggles had to do with Beal’s injury and the fact that they tried to play in a modern way without a modern roster.
It will be interesting to see what Brooks does with this current team. Its hard to judge right now because of Beal’s impending free agency. But if the Wizards want to continue last season’s style under Brooks, they need some revamping.
Lakers hire Luke Walton
I called this as soon as Byron Scott was fired. It was destined to happen.
I do think Luke Walton can coach. This is a roster that has a lot of potential, but this is the Lakers, and they don’t like to wait. Theres a good chance one of these young guys gets flipped for someone this Summer.
If the Lakers want to keep developing these guys though, Walton is the guy to do that. There will be steady improvement as these guys develop. Its unlikely the Lakers take this route, but it is the right one.
The Lakers making logical decisions has been a rare event over the past three years. They’ve made one hiring Walton. The 2nd one would be rebuilding normally.
Timberwolves hire Tom Thibodeau
I am so happy for all my Timberwolves friends, who are going to have a more than competent coach this upcoming season.
The trajectory of this Timberwolves team for the next two seasons is insanely high. I honestly think they could win 40 games next year, just due to improvement from young guys, coaching, and the addition of whoever they take at No.5 overall in June’s draft.
This was an early hire, but it doesn’t matter when you get a coach this good. Yeah, Tom Thibodeau is gonna work his players to death. He’s a tough coach. But isn’t this kinda what a team this young needs? And can you imagine how good they will be defensively? They’re already pretty good!
I think the Wolves have one more developmental year in them, but come 2017-2018, they could easily be contenders.
Nets hire Kenny Atkinson
Like Nate McMillan, I don’t know a ton about Kenny Atkinson. I trust Sean Marks though, the new GM. I think he is smart and knows what he is doing. Thats why this works out fine.
If Atkinson isn’t the right guy, they can let him go. Its not like it will be controversial. They’re gonna suck anyways.
Rockets hire Mike D’Antoni
I love Mike D’Antoni because his Suns teams got me into basketball. He’s revolutionary and deserved another opportunity.
But in Houston?
I don’t see this as the greatest fit. The Rockets need help improving their defense and effort. D’Antoni has never been a defensive guru and has had issues with guys in the locker room in previous jobs. When it comes to dealing with players’ effort, locker room tension can occur.
It pains me to criticize someone hiring D’Antoni, but it just seems like there had to be a better fit for this Houston team.
I am though, excited for them to score like crazy. They could be putting up close to 110 points a game next year.
Have a good Memorial Day Weekend. I will be studying for finals while also writing a Stanley Cup preview, which will be up Monday.