Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Worst NBA Coach?

Who is the worst coach in the NBA? This is a debate that many people engage in with their friends all of the time. Bill Simmons often writes about how horrible Doc Rivers is as a coach. Coaches are probably criticized more than they are praised, and like referees and GM's, everyone thinks they can do a better job than the coach.

Have no fear my friends, I like doing this stuff too. Without further Ado, here is Sportsology's coach countdown (excluding the vacant jobs in Phoenix and Chicago).

Hall of Famers

1. Greg Popovich, San Antonio - He is a master at making adjustments. He's somehow kept the same group of guys together and interested in playing with each other. He also seems to find the best mix of guys to put with Duncan, Parker and Ginobili.
2. Phil Jackson, LA Lakers - I've always been somewhat critical of Jackson because of his tendency to only coach talent. However, there aren't many guys in the history of the game that can get more out of talent than Jackson.

Good Coaches (Right Now)

3. Byron Scott, NO Hornets
- He went toe-to-toe with Pop and almost won. Besides not playing Julian Wright enough against the Spurs, Scott seems to push all the right buttons. He's also loosened up the reigns and lets Chris Paul play, something many coaches below him wouldn't.
4. Flip Saunders, Pistons - Say what you want about Flip, but he hasn't prevented Detroit from making it to the conference finals each year. It would be tough for anybody to keep this moody group of guys playing their hardest every night.
5. Jerry Sloan, Jazz - Apparently he's a pain to play for, but he doesn't get enough credit. Kudos to Sloan for letting his boys run with Deron Williams, and being smart enough to shift the focus to D. Will and Boozer from Kirilenko.
6. Maurice Cheeks, 76ers - He's definitely a winner. He made the playoffs, and pushed the Pistons, with this roster.
7. Nate McMillan, Trailblazers - He had Portland playing better than anyone else during the middle of the season. Lookout for them to make a run next year.
8. Larry Brown, Bobcats - He comes, he wins, he leaves (except for in NY). Just having him on the bench pushes Charlotte's expectations to at least a playoff experience.
9. Mike D’Antoni, Knicks - You have to wonder how he will run and gun with Zack Randolph and Eddy Curry. He also doesn't play the bench/rookies enough.
10. Rick Adelman, Rockets - Nice change of pace in Houston from the Jeff Van Gundy years. Kudos for using Carl Landry and letting him develop.

Decent Coaches (Right Now)

11. Stan Van Gundy, Magic
- He will always be remembered for getting strong-armed for his job by Pat Riley.
12. Eddie Jordan, Washington - I'd love to see what he can do with a decent roster. Besides the big three, he has trash in Washington.
13. Rick Carlisle, Mavericks - It will be interesting to see how Dallas deals with Carlisle if they couldn't tolerate Avery Johnson.
14. George Karl, Nuggets - You just get the feeling Denver should be doing more than what they do every year.

Average, (or Below Average) With a Name

15. Scott Skiles, Bucks
- Another pain to play for, without the clout to keep players listening longer than a few seasons.
16. Lawrence Frank, Nets - The jury may be out on him until he leaves New Jersey and wins somewhere else.
17. Don Nelson, Golden State - He doesn't do much coaching, which is better than what nearly half of the coaches in the league do.
18. Jim O’Brien, Pacers - His teams consistently underachieve, but the Pacers will be no good until they get rid of Jermaine O'Neal's contract and attitude.
19. Mike Dunleavy, LA Clippers - Teams also consistently underachieve.
20. P.J. Carlesimo, ???? Sonics - Coaching deficiencies will be overlooked by Spreewell incident.

No Name, Possibly Below Average, Possibly Better Than Average

21. Mike Woodson, Hawks
- He has the talent, finally. Lets see him do something with it.
22. Reggie Theus, Kings - The Kings are pretty talented on the low. Watch out for them if they can stay healthy.
23. Randy Whittman, T'Wolves - Can't say I saw a T'Wolves game this year, so I really have no clue how good (or bad) he is.
24. Mark Ivaroni, Grizzlies - I've always wished him the best since he bestowed some basketball knowledge on me during a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Phoneix during the late 90s. I was riding alone, on my way to California to visit my dad, when they huge guy sits next to me. He could barely fit in the seats, but was very personable. He told me he was an assistant coach for the Cavs headed to a camp in Phoenix. He also told me that Shawn Kemp was wayyyyyyyy overweight, foreshadowing his demise. Good guy, good luck.
25. Eric Spoelstra, Heat - I have no clue who he is, but he has to be better than these guys.


26. Sam Mitchell, Toronto
- Watch a Raptors game and tell me what you think. Pay close attention to how well Jose Calderon plays and how well he meshes with his teammates versus T.J. Ford (a personal favorite). Try to come up with a good reason why Jose is riding the bench.
27. Mike Brown, Cavaliers - His signature play for LeBron: LBJ gets the ball at the top of the key and starts dribbling. The other four players stand around and watch for 10-15 seconds. Finally, the center will come attempt to set a pick, at which point LeBron will either shoot, pass or dribble some more then shoot. He's bad at calling plays and bad at rotations.
28. Doc Rivers, Celtics - After watching the first few games of the Pistons series, I have one question: Where the hell did Tony Allen come from? Remember when Doc put Tony Allen in to check Billups at the end of one of their regular season games, but Allen was basically in street clothes. He promptly came in the game and fouled Chauncey, game over. I can go on and on about Doc, but that's Bill Simmons' job.


Anonymous said...

LOL OWNED, your last choice

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