Almost everything I've learned about basketball I've either gotten directly from BE or had it linked from here. In the time I've been reading, I've learned a lot. I've evolved from "They should shoot more 3 pointers because they're worth more points" to being able to spot a missed rotation. I'm really proud of myself for this because, well, watching baskbetball is hard.
However, on the subject of Coach McMillan or just coaching in general, I haven't been able to trust my eyes. It seems that coaching is one of the most emotional, polarizing subject of the game and it defies rational analysis. Players win games, coaches lose them. Coaches not only get dinged for losing, they get dinged for "ugly" basketball even when it wins. Don't get me started on all the bosses I wish I could have gotten fired simply by "tuning them out." I have posted comments that have been very supportive of Nate, and I have posted very critical comments as well, and I couldn't tell you even now if any of them were worth the time and electrons I burned in writing them.
So with hat in hand I come to the BE braintrust, to ask not a simple question, but a series of complex ones. I don't expect commenters to supply answers to all the questions... pick the one(s) that resonate with you. With luck, we will get some serious and thoughtful community analysis.
- Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich are the two winningest coaches active in the league today, AFAIK. Can you identify any traits they both share that contribute to that success? Do you think these traits can be emulated or learned?
- If you have been a long-term Nate-hater, could you provide a detailed description of the one element that has bothered you the most about his coaching tenure and why you feel this has been an impediment to the team.
- If you have been a long-term Nate-supporter, could you provide a detailed description of what you believe he brings to the team that has helped drive the success of this team in the last few years?
- Coach McMillan is widely regarded around the league as both a great coach generally and a tough defensive-minded coach specifically. Kobe, Phil Jackson, Coach K, and other well-regarded and winning basketball figures have repeated this idea. Yet the PTB have never been a great defensive team during his tenure. Why not?
- If you were a coach and could somehow get a roster of players that were naturally suited to your coaching style or philosophy, what would your approach be? Why? Can you cite examples of how this approach has led to NBA success in the past?
- Reality notwithstanding, who is your dream coach for the Portland Trailblazers as it is currently constructed.