Of coaching decisions and Charlie V's halftime antics
These are relatively boring times, no?
Three days without games – but given the way games have been going I’m not entirely sure that’s a bad thing – but three days to drum up marginally interesting fodder for here.
A quandary, to be sure.
But, because I work hard for the mediocre bucks, it’s a quandary that has to be resolved. And so it shall be:
This is sort of a list, sort of a rant, sort of an answer to a lot of questions I get
Five factors to figuring out the next coach
|TONY BOCK/TORONTO STAR|
|Jay's been working hard in the interim, no doubt.|
There’s no question that Bryan Colangelo likes to be involved and that’s not a bad thing, given he’s the boss and all. So whoever sits in that chair is going to have to be willing to listen to advice, discuss suggestions on a daily basis and take time to hear out the guy who hired him.
Does that leave out stubborn veteran coaches who might say: “Just give me players and et out of the way?” Absolutely.
Get a style and stick to it
Whoever gets the gig has to come to camp, having studied the roster and the relative skills of the players and decide right away what kind of team it’s going to be. Defence? Halfcourt? Fast-breaking? Crazy early shots? A team that plays zone a bit or not at all? A team that goes nine or 10 deep?
And then they cannot deviate from it.
Let’s, for argument’s sake (although I don’t believe it will happen) say that Sam Mitchell doesn’t take a job next year and the Raptors remain on the hook for his whole salary (there will be a reduction in what they owe him commensurate with what he earns from an NBA job).
Does that mean they have to hire on the relative cheap? I’m sure it’ll be a factor in who they might like to look at.
Putting together a staff
If the boss comes to you and says, ‘hey, I really, really think this guy can help you in your job’ and you get along with that guy well, why in the world wouldn’t you do the prudent thing and work with him?
In a perfect world, you’ve got a great teacher, an old hand and a former player on any staff and the head man’s going to have to keep that in mind when picking his assistants.
Get going right away
This maybe more on Bryan than guy coming in but I think it’s absolutely imperative that whoever the coach is, he’s on the job by the first week of June. That may eliminate assistants from the final two or four teams but so be it. The coach, and his assistants, have to be deeply involved in the working out of possible draft picks, the recruitment and selection of free agents, discussions of sign and trade possibilities and whatnot.
He has to hit the ground running.
Now, whether that guy is Jay Triano or Dominic Triano, Flip Saunders or Flip Wilson, Avery Johnson or Avery Brundage, I don’t know at the moment. And I’m quite sure neither does Bryan Colangelo.
Look, a coaching question:
Q: Another missive bound to be ignored, but in light of your daily and much appreciated contribution to my blogosphere I persist. I read your conjecture on Mark Ivaroni (sic) as lead assistant and recalled Jim Todd's departure, after the club refused to bestow that designation upon him. Does this constitute a shift in the structure of the Raptors coaching staff or just a way to compensate for Jay's relative inexperience and lack of clout?
Matthew H, Kingston
A: I don’t think titles mean a hill of beans and it was only a small – very small –- part of JT’s decision to leave. He’d worked with Sam for about seven years (and trust me, that’s a long time), there were family considerations and it was just time to go.
And if I know people, being called a “lead assistant” is much less important than the annual stipend.
So, no, it doesn’t constitute a huge change in the structure of the staff.
Charlie, Charlie, Charlie.
The Bucks are, what? half a game out of the playoffs, playing one of the best teams in the East at home and at halftime the guy’s goofing on his wireless thing in the locker room?
But it’s not just Charlie. I’m sure hundreds of other guys go check their texts or take their messages every halftime of every game.
They should be all required to leave all their little communications devices in the coach’s office until the game’s over.
Some big basketball tournament start tomorrow or something? Getting lots of questions on it.
Here’s the deal:
I’ve seen maybe 15 college games this year, what with doing this job and, you know, living a life.
I know about the Griffin kid, likely No. 1 selection, needs shooting range; the guard from Duke and the kid Harden, who when I saw a bit of the Pac-10 final was an absolute non-factor in the offence in the first half, so that’s troubling.
You know I love Dell Curry and think his son Stephen is going to be a Top 10 pick and maybe a big surprise but the kid just knows how to play. But he’s not even in the tournament.
So, to ask who watch is to ask someone who isn’t sure. And since we have no idea where the Raptors will draft, trying to pick and choose the guys to watch is ridiculous.
Enjoy the games, that’s what you should do.
Oh, and when Super Son and I get done our brackets later tonight, we’ll let you know who to cheer most loudly for.
A list and a question all rolled into one:
Q: Long time reader, not a first time writer, but haven't written in a long long time.
Even though the Raptors had the "best" roster at the beginning of this season it's obvious to see that they are one of the NBA's most underachieved team this season. Name 3 teams that have underachieved and name 3 teams that are overachieving this season whom we probably won't be seeing in the playoffs next season.
Andy C, Toronto
A: I’d say, with a quick glance at the standings, that the underachievers – right now – are Toronto, the Pistons and Phoenix, all of whom expected to be much better than they are at the moment.
Overachievers? I think you can make a case that Charlotte, Milwaukee and Houston are the big surprises given all that they’ve had to go through this year with injuries and trades.