Thursday's Oregonian sports page will feature a Canzano breakdown on Nate McMillan. He won't say Nate sucks, or any such foolishness, but will implore a better, less imperfect substitution pattern, and a better strategical performance. He'll say that he's been out-coached , and he'll make a personal outreach out to the man, to the competitor, telling him how Portland needs his best coaching effort.
Never mind that some like McMillan, and others find his offense offensive, Canzano fails to understand that at this point there is very little Coach can do. They've watch all the film. They've played the Suns 8 times this year. They've won a few times, and they've been blown out repeatedly and recently.
Preposterously, what Canzano will insinuate, is that Coach watch Brandon Roy and pull him from the game if he's struggling. And I ask, "Who are you kidding? Don't you know anything about the team, or the sport you're covering, or sports in general?"
When the game begins, if Brandon is in the starting line up (as he says he will be), Coach will be all in. The fate of the team will be on Roy's shoulders, and Coach will ride him hard, for better or worse.
It is the nature of the star player/entrenched coach relationship. Coach goes w/ the guy who got him there. It's an elimination game. Coaches always ride their stars in elimination games. They have to. Explaining afterward, especially if they lose, which they almost certainly would, is unacceptable.
"I thought that going with Jerryd Bayless gave us the best chance to win, but unfortunately, it just didn't work out. They had the guns, the all stars, and they got the benefit of the doubt." Translation: we just got disrespected out of the playoffs.
A coach of McMillan's stature has vision, and that's not going to be a speech he gives, ever. In fact, I'd say he's far more likely to explain BRoy's 38 minutes played.
"Coach, Brandon looked a little slow out there tonight."
"Brandon's 85% is better than just about anyone else in the league at 100%"
"But 2 for 16?"
"He's our franchise player and I'd go to battle w/ him any day." Translation: I'm looking forward to a solid and prosperous long term relationship w/ this franchise, and it's franchise player.
Everyone does it. It's not only how things are are done, but the only way things get done.
Think Riley would have pulled Kareem or Magic? Jackson pull Jordan?
Because this isn't just about one game, or getting a seventh game, or moving on to the second round. It's about TRUST. It's about commitment. It's about standing up for who you are, and what you stand for. Coach would never sit his star, no matter what. The star won't ask to sit (or he's not really a star). Ask Grady Little,
Just don't ask John Canzano