NBA coaches: Thumbs up, thumbs down
Two coaches, Sacramento’s Paul Westphal and Washington’s Flip Saunders, already are fired in this NBA season. More to come, surely. Let’s take a look at who is hot and who is not among NBA head coaches.
Hot: Indiana’s Frank Vogel. The Pacers are 12-6 and have won at Boston, at Chicago and at the Lakers. Indiana looks for real.
Not: Orlando’s Stan Van Gundy. It’s one thing to lose. It’s another to lose the way Orlando has been losing: 106-85 at home to Indiana on Sunday, 93-87 at New Orleans on Friday night, 91-83 at home to Boston Thursday night despite a 26-point lead, an historically-bad 87-56 loss at Boston last Monday. A victory at Indiana was the Magic’s only victory last week.
Hot: George Karl. The Nuggets’ experiment — winning not just without a superstar, but without a designated go-to player — is working famously. Denver has itself a team.
Not: Mike Brown. The start of the Brown era in Laker Land is a little dubious. The Lakers are 12-9 with plenty of bickering and more than a little confusion. But hope springs eternal. LA might sign Gilbert Arenas.
Hot: Rick Adelman. There is hope in Minnesota. Yes, some of it is Ricky Rubio. Some of it is Derrick Williams. Some of it is at least 31/2 more years of Kevin Love. But Adelman also has brought the Timberwolves some validity.
Not: Mike D’Antoni. I wouldn’t wish coaching Carmelo Anthony on my mortal enemy, but what we could be learning is that D’Antoni’s offense works wonderfully when Steve Nash runs it, not so much otherwise. The same could be said about most any team’s offense.
Hot: Kevin McHale. I didn’t like the Rockets’ hiring of McHale. Still don’t. But I can’t argue with the results. McHale has Houston 12-8 and playing well, despite a rebuilding mode and the disappointment of not getting Pau Gasol when the NBA voided a December trade.
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