Coaching Grades vol. 2: East.
Race to the MVP, Rookie Report, Power Rankings, the Nower Rankings, and god knows what else is dedicated to analyzing the players and teams deserving the most and least deserving of praise.
Ranking’s are inherently flawed to to being a completely subjective structure. You could say “True Blood” is better than “The Wire” and after I laughed at you I wouldn’t be able to prove you wrong.
So take this with a grain of salt when I do these coaching rankings, especially when I say I havent watched a team a lot. The Coaching Grades will be done in the middle of every month, each with it’s own twist hopefully.
THESE ARE BASED ON THEIR OWN EXPECTATIONS AND HISTORIES AS WELL AS PREFORMANCE
Let’s get on with it already: March
This edition will be a much more slender one, thanks to coaches being fired and not needing to go more in depth with their histories.
- Avery Johnson – Net’s: (C) (Prev: C-) Hey, that Dwight-Deron combo looks funny, why id Dwight starting at the 3…… Oh wait Gerald Wallace? AND YOUR GM GAVE UP THE PICK!?!?!?! Oh god. I can’t blame Avery too much for that move, but this team is still a train wreck. I improved his grade because he has let Gerald Green happen, has not been fired, and has managed to keep the players that have been producing on a similar level, albeit Brooks has gotten less efficient with each month. I still don’t see him lasting into next year, but hey, he isn’t Vinny Del Negro.
- Mike Woodson – Knicks: (N/A) Woodson Back. What does this mean for Knicks fans? Well it has gotten off to a good enough start, but he is still a stopgap coach. A solid enough defensive mind, he loses most of his praise when his team, or well one player on his team, has the ball. He loves his ISO play, and while this might mean higher Melo point totals, it is gonna lead to some ugly games. Still though, a new start, talent, it all perfectly culminates for a permanent title added to the resume with NY, which leads to 2-3 years from now getting fired. Win-Win for Woodson and fans of teams other than the Knicks.
- Doc Rivers – Celtics: (B-) (Prev: B-) Oh more injuries? In case Jeff Green wasn’t enough, Let’s add Wilcox and JO to that mix. While watching KG play C is one part sad and one part awesome due to the fact that when he tries to punk Perk and ends up all sorts of broken. While the Rondo situation still brews and the fact that there is no way in hell the roster looks like this 6 months from now, I find it hard to really feel anyway about Doc right now, so the grade stays the same.
- Dwane Casey – Raptors: (B-) (Prev: B-) I have not watched a Raptors game in 2 weeks. However, the fact he started Bayless makes me happy. A team this awful at scoring simply can’t win that many games, but the fact that they are not Hornets level bad speaks volumes on this teams effort. I still think he has a bright future, but this season isn’t the best reason.
- Doug Collins – Sixers: (A-) (Prev: A) Still the COY, but the glisten has faded a tad. The Sixers still have the same in house issues as they did, wether it be creating inside scoring or not stagnating in the half court, but his decision to just let Evan Turne start has played out quite well. I know Hawes being out still hurts, but that isn’t an excuse for being out rebounded on the season (especially on the offensive end) which is surprising considering how many they grab themselves.
- Tom Thibodeau – Bulls: (B+) (Prev: B) Fastest to 100 coaching wins? Thibs. My main issue last month was his overplaying of players and his offense. While Deng will still likely die before the playoffs, how he has been able to dominate while Rose+Friends were out is a testament to what he has going for him in the Chi.Probably the deepest team in basketball, and with how this season has gone, that might be their biggest asset.
- Scott Skiles – Bucks: (D+) (Prev: C-) Who the hell decided to give Skiles Monta AND Jennings? I don’t care it’s the best NBA troll move in a long time. You take a guy who simply doesn’t give a fuck about coaching offense a guy who is abysmal on D? What’s scary is that in spite of their coach the Bucks are still likely going to the playoffs, thanks to the Annual Drew Gooden Triple Double and Ersanity. I still hate him though.
- Byron Scott – Cavs: (B-) (Prev: C+/B-) Last month I talked about how I was beginning to buy into what Scott is selling. Well now I have, and wether it’s the high that comes from watching Kyrie or the giddiness of watching Thompson start, this is just a fun team to watch. The amount of depth they have is still so damn laughable, and trading Ramon Sessions for a pair of New Wave Rejects is laughable (or if your a Cavs fan tear inducing) so it’s not really my place to make fun of….. aw screw it YOU STARTED SEMIH ERDEN NINE TIMES THIS YEAR HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAH
- Frank Vogel – Pacers: (B+) (Prev: B+) It will be interesting to see how he integrates another George Hill in the long run, but really this team is what it is, fun to watch, adaptable, and a Danny Granger not sucking season away from challenging the big dogs. Darren Collison is merely an average PG, and in todays NBA thats probably the last position you just want to be average at. Watching how he runs this team and has let players (ie: PAUL GEORGE) evolve into quality players has been great to watch.
- Lawrence Frank – Pistons: (C) (Prev: D+) Anyone else realize that Stuckey has been beasting in March? It looks like Frank has finally decided to go with Knight+Stuck most nights as his back court, Greg Monroe is being Greg Monroe, and since February 3rd the Pistons are actually above .500. He still has not corralled in how many shot’s Tayshaun is taking (team LEADING 12.9 a game) and still has this team run one of the slowest styles in the NBA despite not being equipped for it. But hey, there is some good happening.t
- Stan Van Gundy – Magic: (B) (Prev: B-) Alright, record and players aside. I thought SVG was gonna die due to this Dwight stuff. He told the media to go away forever, he looked in physical pain half the time, and still coached really well. Now that Dwight has agreed to let this all happen next year again and we go back to looking at the games, I still am not a huge fan of his system, but damn if he doesn’t get the most out of his guys.
- Randy Whitman – Wizards: (C) (Prev: Not a single clue) All of this Wizards season should just be broken into one sentence: Make sure John Wall wants to stay here. New coach? Check. Getting rid of McGee? Check. Killing Blatche? We are working on that. He let’s guys play and learn what they do, but really, he himself isnt really doing much, and he is not any kind of creative.
- Erik Spoelstra – Heat: (B?) Is anyone even really sure what he does? He certainly is a smart guy and is liked by his players, but I don’t know what is his credit and what is having two top players and another all-star. They have implemented the basketball version of Oregon’s read spread or something? They have improved on their TO’s, steadily improving while Wade was out, and he stands by is guys. I really want to believe he is a good coach, but I am also not sure what to view with him. I am interested with his rotations of the bench going forward, as he has Battier and Miller now to go with Cole and Haslem. OH YEAH SAME AS LAST TIME
- Larry Drew– Hawks: (B-) (Prev: B) Hey coach, wanna tell us what to do? Larry Drew has done a decent enough job here no doubt, but I have no idea what he is trying to accomplish by replacing bad Joe Johnson ISO’s with bad Josh Smith ISO’s. To be fair 8/10 times these guys have decent enough games, but it seems to me that Drew cannot adapt to situations. Still having the Hawks play this well without Al Horford is no small task, I just have no idea how he can evolve his coaching.
- Paul Silas – Katz: (N/A) I am not going to badmouth Paul Silas, but my lack of a grade shouldn’t be taken as a compliment. This team is really bad and there is an incentive to play Kemba beyond the games themselves, but still I was hoping for more. I was hoping he would be a player coach who can be the hardass on the Diaw’s and Bad Porns of the world. I was hoping hey would play and uptempo game. But most importantly, I was hoping he would unleash holy hell onto the world of basketball in the form of Bismack Biyombo, a player who I have a mancrush to end all mancrushes, and not play him out of position and inconsistently. Silas is still a better person than almost any athlete, so it is hard for me to ever insult him. God that was hard. OH YEAH SAME AS LAST TIME