Billy Donovan was not brought in to replace Scott Brooks as coach because he has better hair.
It was all about the offense. The sense had long been that Brooks ran a too-conservative, old-school offense that could be defended. Sure, the Thunder have had a top 10 NBA offense since 2008-09 (and the top rated offense in the NBA in 2012-13), but that was because of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant and in spite of the sets, according to critics. It’s part of what led to playoff downfalls.
Is Donovan’s offense that different? Westbrook says yes, he can feel the space, he told Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman.
The Thunder are betting on Donovan to be Steve Kerr 2.0, although clearly Westbrook and Durant (and Serge Ibaka) just staying healthy is a big part of that. Donovan was brought in to show Durant the organization wants the best and is serious about winning — so please don’t leave. They want a more modern offense while keeping a focus on defense, just like Kerr provided in the Bay Area.
Kerr coached brilliantly last season, but he also had a lot of things — including health — break his way. Donovan should be so fortunate.