They are both former NBA players but they come at their jobs very differently.
To hear Orland’s Glen Davis tell it, Celtics coach Doc Rivers is an old school coach where Magic coach Jacque Vaughn is more a players’ coach into positive reinforcement. That’s what Davis told the Boston Herald.
“Different guys,” he said after (Sunday’s) pre-game shootaround. “Doc is more of a military-minded kind of guy, and Jacque is more of a Gandhi kind of guy. Soft but powerful.
“Doc’s more get the job done, and Jacque Vaughn is more the kind of guy who will ask you, Would you feel comfortable getting the job done?” said Davis. “I think that’s different with players. But in my system, I think I just feel better functioning in Jacque’s system. Doc wasn’t the kind of guy to pat you on your back and say, good job, man. He’s more like, OK, move on. In a way that’s positive, but some players are different. Jacque’s a different kind of guy. He pats you on your back – good job. That’s his motivation. But at the same time he still holds you accountable if you’re doing things wrong.”
Which works better? Clearly Rivers’ style if you give him vastly more talent than Vaughn to work with.
Fact is no two players are the same and what motivates one may not motivate another, you have to find the right buttons. It doesn’t matter if you are old school, new school, Zen, a numbers guy, what matters is getting the players to buy into what you are doing.
Rivers has done that. The fact the Magic are 5-8 with that roster shows Vaughn has gotten buy-in, too. And that’s what matters.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been every bit the top five NBA player in the postseason — 32.5 points per game on 63.2 percent shooting, plus with 11 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.
Yet the Bucks are down 0-2 to Boston.
The Celtics have had a strong series from Al Horford and Terry Rozier, but the real difference is in the discipline this team has shown all season — Boston knows who it is. Clearly, Milwaukee does not. They turn the ball over too much and make too many mistakes.
I get into all of that in this PBT Extra, and I wonder if that’s something the Bucks can really turn around mid-playoffs.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin, died yesterday.
That sad news was felt throughout the NBA, and it obviously affects San Antonio most closely. That includes for tonight’s Game 3 against the Warriors.
Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:
Ettore Messina was a longtime head coach in Europe. The Spurs lead assistant also took over for a few regular-season games Popovich missed. So, making – rather than advising – coaching decisions won’t be a brand new challenge to Messina.
But down 2-0 to defending-champion Golden State is a tough place to make an NBA playoff debut.
On the bright side, there will be no pressure. Not only has San Antonio been outclassed the first two games of the series, focus is rightly on the Popovich family. A win would be a pleasant surprise and help Messina – who’s up for the Hornets job – in his pursuit of a head-coaching position. A loss would be quickly forgotten with more important matters at hand.
To that end, hopefully the time away allows Popovich the space he needs to grieve. That matters far more than a basketball game.
The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.
It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.
TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).
Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.
But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.
So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.
But at least he has that opportunity.
Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.
Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.