I must say, John Canzano can write an interesting article. However, it seems that everything he writes really never makes sense. The title of his article, "Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan should watch his back", is very true. The article starts out insulting Blazer fans as "irrational, uninformed, ridiculous...", the very words I would use to describe JC after reading this article. I also agree with his sentiments about Vulcan and what little power Rich Cho really has. Unfortunately, Cho was hired for his knowledge of the salary cap and ability to do math. Who the hell thought Sean Marks was a good signing? There were many more free agents available that could have provided more worth than anything Marks has or ever will provide. Sorry, back to JC. He states that Mcmillan isn't the problem and the Blazers are short-handed again. Way to state the obvious, we all are still waiting for a legitimate argument for why Nate should stay. You call him a scapegoat, I totally agree. Should the players be blamed? Partly, but as John stated, the team is short-handed so you can't really trade anyone or overhaul the roster. In professional sports the coach is the first to be blamed. In this situation it is obviously not the GM, he was just hired.
JC also argues that Nate should stay because he was able to garnish 104 wins in the last two years with an injured roster. I could have done that with this roster. I am not even a basketball player or coach, except for when sitting on my couch. Put me on the sidelines; I will stand there with my arms crossed, never say a word to the referees to defend my players, put the ball into my all-star player's hands at the top of the key and let him decide what to do offensively. Defensively, we will just plug the middle and hope the other team misses their jumpers. I would be considered and defensive-minded coach and sit on Coach K's staff too!
For me the most recent example of the incompetence of Mac is the Boston game. For once, he tried to create a mis-match instead of matching up to the other team. He put four guards on the floor with LA and ran a zone on defense to compensate for the size difference. Not a bad idea, and it seemed to work as the Blazers went on a 15-0 run. The problem I had, the Celtics had Glen Davis marking Rudy on defense! Not once did Mac run Rudy off screens, that is his strength and I am pretty sure that Big Baby would have had trouble keeping up. Instead of taking advantage of the mismatch that was created, he has Rudy standing behind the 3 point line waiting for a pass. Anyone could have guarded Rudy during this time.
The complete lack of imagination and ability to adapt and change is why Nate must go. He was a great hire for a young, rebuilding team. But now, the team has become as predictable as a clock and are too easy to defend. This is mostly due to Nate giving in to Roy. Most of us would! But you cannot run the same play over and over for your star and expect no one to catch on. Personally, I believe that Roy needs to become the highest paid sixth-man in the league. Start Wes and Nic and change up the offensive system with Miller running the show. Roy cannot beat starter quality players off the dribble anymore and everything he does seems to be challenged. Play him 25-30 minutes a game, off the bench, and let him destroy the lesser quality bench players he will be matched up against. Our bench does not have a spark plug that can bring some scoring. Roy would solve that problem and Wes has proven he can be a quality starter. Our team is in a funk and needs something to rejuvenate them.
Nate won't change no matter who is on the floor. So, in my opinion, move him now and let someone different come in and feature the talent that this roster has .I am sure they won't meet the expectations we had at the beginning of the year, but they are talented and can still win a lot of games. The Pryz will make a huge difference for this team.
I may just be your typical armchair player/coach/GM/owner but don't call me irrational, uninformed or ridiculous.