Coaches tend to “retire” and then drift back. You do something for so long, it gets in your blood. So you have to take what they say with a lot of salt. Not a grain. A lot. But Don Nelson is talking like there’s no question about it, he’s not coming back.
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com reports that Nelson has said he is permanently done with coaching, not interested, even if called.
Nelson was in talks for the Timberwolves job before they went with Rick Adelman. He’s been rumored here and there for a variety of jobs, and will continue to be. But if he’s loving life sitting on beaches sipping drinks with umbrellas in them, more power to him. He’s earned it.
It’s interesting, though, that there’s not more interest in Nelson returning, considering the positional shifts we see going on in the league. Versatility and smallball is all the rage right now, and that fits right in with what Nelson does. While defense is still at a premium for winning in the playoffs, his ingenuity could do a lot with some of the rosters that are out there. Or it could crash into the ocean. That’s the risk with Nelson.
But it looks for now like we won’t be seeing Nellieball again, even as it tenets seem to be roaming the landscape.
HoopIdea’s Beckley Mason has been taking a hard look at late-game situations recently, and one theory he’s been playing with is that calling a timeout in late-game situations actually makes the offense less likely to score. The evidence is in, and it supports Mason’s hypothesis: in a late-game situation, teams have a better chance of scoring when they simply let their players go to work in the flow of the game than they do when they call time-out and try to set up an elaborate play to generate a game-tying or game-winning shot opportunity, even when fast-break points are excluded.
All the evidence is over on HoopIdea, along with disclaimers, and the entire article should be read in order to be responded to properly, but Mason lets the Heat’s Shane Battier explain why time-outs may be counter-productive in crunch-time:
Miami Heat forward Shane Battier cites lessons learned from Coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, telling Heat Index’s Tom Haberstroh: “I was born and raised in the Coach K school of ‘in closing situations, never take a timeout,’” says Battier. “Defenses aren’t as prepared after a late bucket to tie or take the lead because emotionally teams aren’t as prepared to get that stop. If you call timeout you allow a team to set their defense, focus in. Everyone knows exactly what everyone runs anyways.”
Again, the full article is worth reading; head over to HoopIdea to check it out.
From Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski we get the news an interesting hire in Milwaukee:
Sidney Moncrief, one of the Milwaukee Bucks’ legendary players, is finalizing an agreement to return to the franchise as an assistant coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Moncrief will replace Kelvin Sampson on Scott Skiles’ coaching staff, and have significant responsibilities on the defensive side. Sampson left the Bucks to become Kevin McHale’s lead assistant with the Houston Rockets.
The 53-year old Moncrief was a two-time defensive player of the year as a player, but the Bucks’ defense doesn’t need all that much fixing as is — the team finished fourth in defensive efficiency last season. It’s the Bucks’ offense, which ranked dead last in the NBA last season, that needs fixing — we’ll see what moves the Bucks make to address their abysmal offense this off-season.
Still, this is a hiring that should go over well with Bucks fans.
Here’s the report, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:
Lawrence Frank is Detroit’s choice to be its next head coach, and formal offer imminent within next 24-36 hours, league sources tell Y!
Frank is currently the lead assistant for the Boston Celtics, and his most recent head coaching gig was with the New Jersey Nets. Frank coached the Nets for seven seasons, and made the playoffs in his first four years with the team. Frank missed the playoffs in his final two full seasons with the team, and was fired after losing the first 16 games of the 2009-10 season. Before you blame Frank for those last few seasons, look at how then-owner Bruce Ratner started to order a gutting of the talent on the roster — this was not all Frank. He wasn’t perfect, but he was also a bit of a scapegoat.
Reportedly, Pistons GM Joe Dumars preferred former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson to take over the young Pistons, but Frank impressed team owner Tom Gores in his interview. Frank will replace Jon Kuester, who was an unmitigated disaster as a head coach and was recently hired as an assistant by the Lakers under new coach Mike Brown.
Woodson has interviewed for the Minnesota Timberwolves job, and he has been rumored to be a possible replacement for Frank as the lead assistant to Doc Rivers in Boston.
The Los Angeles Times’ Mark Medina recently sat down with Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person to talk about all things Lakers. It’s an interesting interview, and I recommend reading the full piece, but one particularly interesting part of the interview came when Person was asked about how the team will play defense under new head coach Mike Brown:
“I think the basic [defensive] scheme will be the same. We’ll keep the ball out of the middle of the floor, force the ball baseline without getting beat, come over from the weak side to do what we call “trap the box,” and make sure the ball stays out of the paint. We are going to shrink the floor and invite opponents to shoot with a contested hand on every shot, so that won’t change from last year. What will change is we will have the players be held more accountable for executing our defensive philosophy and defensive game plans from game-to-game. Mike won’t have any leniency when it comes to that end of the floor. He’ll allow them to make some mistakes offensively, but there won’t be much room defensively for guys to go off on their own and do things outside of the defensive system that we implement.”
Person notes that the team did implement a new defensive scheme last season, and it’s worth noting that the Lakers have been a top-6 defensive team in each of the last two seasons. Brown is known for his defensive coaching acumen, and the schemes he brought to Cleveland completely changed the culture of the team, but I don’t believe it would be reasonable to expect a similarly dramatic culture shift in Los Angeles next season.