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Monday Thoughts: Coaching

The weekend conversation got me thinking of another question that interests me very much.

It's always seemed to me that NBA coaches can't win.  If they have great records (Pops in Dallas San Antonio or Phil Jackson in Chicago/You-Know-Where) people say it's because of the talent on their teams.  As soon as a team starts losing, though, people say it's the coach's fault.  They get some credit but they take far more blame.  Which begs the question:

What exactly do we expect of a coach?  What exactly do NBA coaches do anyway?  (Obviously they do a lot of things but which of those are most important?)  What do you want out of your coach?

I know there are some actual coaches among us and we will certainly value your input.  As you give your answer (and this goes for all of us) let's concentrate on NBA coaches specifically rather than coaches in general.  Certainly there will be some similarities but there are probably also differences.  What are those and how important are they?

Also note that like the weekend question, this is a general topic.  We're not necessarily talking about what we expect from Nate McMillan with the Portland Trailblazers in 2007-08 (though that could enter the picture in some ways).

As a special added side topic I'd also like to add this:

It's easy to blame coaches for almost everything that happens with a team.  Do they really have that much power?  Tell us, what things are actually under their control and thus proper to hold them responsible for?  Is there anything having to do with the operation of an NBA team for which you can turn to the coach and say, "This is pretty much 100% about you and on your shoulders"?

--Dave (