If you ask close observers who the smartest, best coach on the international circuit is you usually hear the name David Blatt.
The average fan may not know him from the guy walking his dog down their street, but those fans know the powerhouse EuroLeague team he coaches (Maccabi Tel Aviv) and they know he coached the Russians up to the bronze medal in the London Olympics.
A lot of basketball people have wondered why an NBA team hasn’t gone after him. Now there is a report out of Sport-Express in Russia that one is (via Hoopshype, who did the translation).
The head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv and Russian National Basketball Team David Blatt may become the assistant coach of the Atlanta Hawks. Larry Drew has come to Israel today to watch and analyze Blatt’s work with Israel’s champions.
This would be a smart hire by the Hawks. It gives them a quality coach on Drew’s bench and potentially a future head coach if management ever decides to go that direction (and Blatt sticks).
That said, Blatt may or may not come. He has carved out a nice — and lucrative — career in Europe. He likes living in Israel. Not everyone will fall over themselves just to get any NBA job.
But it’s something to watch. And a smart play by the Hawks whether it works out or not.
With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).
Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.
It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.
The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).
Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.
Stephen Curry said the defending-champion Warriors would have no problem picking up where they left off.
His swagger certainly remains intact.