The following comments were taken from various threads related to the game last night:
"We got outcoached — AGAIN!!!!!!"
"What adjustments did we make as team this game? Any?"
"McMillan is the most overrated coach ever."
"The perception vs the reality is night and day. I just don’t understand why people think he’s competent."
"Nate completely outcoached…again."
There are at least a dozen more comments expressing sentiments like these, but you get the gist of it, and it honestly would have been too frustrating for me to reproduce all of the Nate Negativity in one place anyway.I said it last night in the GameDay Thread and I'm saying it again right now. Nate could be Red Auerbach, Knute Rockne and Patches O'Houlihan rolled into one and we still wouldn't have won Game 3.
Look at the lineups for Game 3 and find one position on the court -- just one -- where the Blazers had an advantage. Nash is better than Miller. Richardson is better than Rudy. Hill is better than a crippled Batum or a healthy Martell. Amare is better than LMA. Not one of those matchups is even arguable. The Suns have a decided talent advantage at four positions. Only in the Camby-Frye matchup can the Blazers claim an advantage, and even then Frye's outside shooting pulls Camby out of the paint, which helps neutralize his impact blocking shots and on the glass. The Suns bench, one of the best in the NBA, is better than the Blazers bench.
Do we all remember the rationale for acquiring Andre Miller? The Blazers wanted a second creator and ball-handler to take the pressure off Roy and keeping defenses in the playoffs from loading up on him like the Rockets did last year. And lo and behold, guess what we're seeing the Suns do to Miller! You want to complain about "adjustments"? Try adjusting to the idea that Phoenix is significantly better than Portland right now.
Players win games in the NBA. Coaches might be able to tilt the game 5-10% one way or another, but the team with the best talent on the court usually wins. Phoenix's talent -- with a depleted Blazers team sans Roy, Oden, Batum and an Amber Alert out for Rudy's mojo -- is a whole heck of a lot more impressive than Portland's. If you think that giving Dante Cunningham Juwon Howard's minutes would have produced a 35-point swing in Game 3 then I have some gorgeous oceanfront property in Phoenix that I want to sell you. If you're livid that Nate loaded up to stop the Nash-Amare pick and roll and conceded the outside jumper, well, you're gonna get to harangue him for "allowing" Nash and Amare to clinically dissect our single coverage in Game 4.
The 2009-2010 Portland Trail Blazers season is the leaky dike. Nate McMillan is the little Dutch boy. And Batum's injury is the ELEVENTH leak. Nate's out of fingers to plug at this point. If you want to tear him down, that's obviously your prerogative. I'll stand by a coach who took a team devastated by injuries to a 50-win season through sleight of hand and smoke and mirrors...and a potential playoff series loss, fielding a jerry-rigged lineup, to the hottest team in basketball isn't going to change that.