There have been a number of coaches through the years in every sport who guys play hard for, but that make a lot of bad decisions in the flow of the game and poor clock management decisions.
I don’t pretend to be a basketball genius. He drove me crazy in a game earlier this year where he kept Stevens on the floor when it felt like he was just killing us. I didn’t get it. But just because I don’t get it doesn’t make it a bad decision.
I try to look at lineups and the analytics behind certain lineups, and I still didn’t get it, but I try not to say someone is wrong who makes a living at something unless I hear their thought process. In those cases, I’m not going to be able to ask him what he was thinking, so while it appeared dumb, I’m willing to concede it’s possible I’m not seeing something .
What I know is wrong is some of the purely math decisions he’s made at the end of games with clock management. This isn’t something that requires high level basketball knowledge. This just requires having third grade math ability coupled with a little knowledge of the game and how they play out at the end.
I love the effort the team is giving and I give him a lot of credit for that. We come out prepared at the start of games and so he’s doing a lot right.
But that end of the game situational math shit drives me crazy. It’s in direct conflict to the fight for every win and loose ball attitude that he’s been successful at instilling. Last night, it was like he was content with a close loss, when it was winnable. We probably don’t win, but he didn’t really give us the chance to.
Once you use that last timeout, from that point forward when you have to inbounds and go the length of the court, any team up three is going to continue to foul you rather than let you get off a tying shot. It was just obvious and yet he seemed unprepared for it
Every move he made was just incredibly dumb from the timeout all the way down to inserting Love down 5 with 4 seconds left when he should have been in for the last three possessions when you need someone to throw the ball down court. Too late man
Ricky choked in a major way, but you can’t control that, so you still keep making the smart decision. Once he missed the first and asked JBB whether to miss or make, JBB telling him to make it was just so dumb. You’re conceding loss.
It’s low percentage to miss, get offensive rebound, and be able to kick for a three, but not as low percentage as making it, hoping great free throw shooters miss both, because otherwise they’re just going to foul you and run the last seconds off the clock without even a shot to tie
You’re very likely to lose anyway, but you still give a bunch of guys who have tried their ass off a chance. Ricky got too cute later when he did try to miss and barely skimmed the bottom of the net, but missing was still your best chance to win and Rubio is a heady player who isn’t often going to screw up that badly often. Plus it was already too late anyway. JBB was a step slow in ever decision in that last minute.
Taking the last timeout was the major screwup that he just kept compounding with poor decisions the rest of the way. Playing for steals and hoping for two free throw misses out of Paul or Booker. Not having someone throw deep three possessions earlier than when he did. Not having Love in there when you’re just going to foul anyway, so his defense is irrelevant.
There is a 90% chance he didn’t cost us the game. Someone was going to have to make a hard inbounds and contested three to simply tie and then make a stop. All low percentage shit. But calling that last timeout when he did, that’s the math he created.
If that’s not your strength, and he’s already in a short season made multiple poor clock management decisions, grab some nerd analytics kid with with a quant background to lay out the simple math for you and have him in the ear of your assistant coach down the stretch.
I’m not saying he cant do it himself if that was his only job, but some guys are particularly poor at clock management when they have 5 other things to worry about. Guys who are bad at it tend to stay bad at it. It’s not their strength in tight games when the pressure is on. He’s not a guy who is good at late game strategy and quickly calculating if I do x, they’ll do y, and then we’re fucked.
He’s kind of like a bad poker or chess player player where he’s only thinking about his own hand or his move, rather that what his opponent has in their hand or move they likely do to counter.
Being an NBA coach is such a great gig, and there are all these areas he’s good at. Being a guy who keeps the locker room together and guys play hard for is a great skill. Someone like a George Karl who had a great basketball mind never could figure it out.
Plays off a timeout and clock mangement. This is always where he ends up with his balls showing. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Ego management is the top skill as a professional coach and he appears to be excellent at that. There are a thousand guys who understand clock management and can draw up a play. Be self-aware and manage your own ego as well as you do others.
I always think the longest tenured and successful coaches are the guys best as identifying bright assistants and being the more CEO type coaches. It’s rare to have all the skillsets and be likable at the same time.
He’s got the respect of the players and does a bunch of things right. He’s got enough to worry about. Just find someone bright and delegate that shit and you’ll get all the credit and be viewed as the genius and keep cashing huge paychecks for the next 30 years.
Poor clock management leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, including players. It moves the focus from all the things he did well that even had us in the position to win.
Monty Williams has the better team, and you could argue JBB had his team better prepared and outcoached him for 46 minutes. But Monty worked him that last two minutes in every way.
So he’s done a really good job in many respects, but you can’t be bad strategy and clock management guy when you’re a team that hangs it’s head on defense. The close ones we’ve won are because our guys got stops. We’ve lost a few close ones where he made multiple just basic strategy and clock mgmt errors. That’s the difference between being a good coach and great coach.
He’ll get a total pass because we’ve played the best teams and his team has kept it competitive and our best player is out. He should get a pass as you aren’t expected to win those, but he’s gotten some hot shooting out of unexpected places and it would have been nice to steal one. Those games were closer than I expected and he gets credit for that. We are an offensively challenged team right now and the guy who held to get stops is out.
This season has exceeded expections, but that’s largely because Mobley exceeded all expectations. So when he’s back, you better understand now one cares about how many games we were supposed to win before we got some freak player. There are new expectations.
So good job, but you better get that end of game shit figured out when Mobley gets back. He’s simply so good that he will keep you in many games, and that’s a weakness as a coach that will get continually exposed. Lot of articles about other coaches telling him privately how lucky he was to get Mobley and get to coach him. That’s certainly true, but it also comes with a different expectation. You’re no longer a tanking team as Mobley is too good to allow it. Your timetable has moved up and if you’re losing games because of bad decisions at the end, you’re not going to be the lucky guy who got Mobley for long.
Everyone have a great Thanksgiving. I’m going to eat some turkey.