Dave Joerger – whose Grizzlies are 3-4 – is reportedly on the hot seat.
Not so, says Memphis general manager Chris Wallace.
“When things aren’t going well, there’s always a lot of noise from the outside,” Wallace said. “You can’t let it permeate the air you’re breathing as a team. You just have to keep your head down and do what you’ve done in the past to be successful.
“I don’t see Dave on the hot seat. We’re six games into the season. We’re struggling right now, but Dave’s a proven commodity and he’s got a talented staff.”
I tend to think Joerger is a good coach, but he inherited a good team and has kept it churning for just two seasons. That’s hardly proof of his coaching prowess. Memphis went 56-26 and reached the conference finals under Lionel Hollins in 2012-13 and has gone 50-32 and 55-27 with one playoff-series victory under Joerger. Plenty of NBA coaches have looked good for a while before reverting to a lower mean.
Joerger might fit that trend. He might not. But a 3-4 start – with losses by 30, 50, 19 and 10 and poor play on both ends of the floor – should raise questions.
Joerger might turn around the Grizzlies, and his best chance is with management behind him. Wallace should support Joerger publicly until he doesn’t support him anywhere. Admitting Joerger was on the hot seat would just undermine the coach.
Of course, this might not even be Wallace’s call. Grizzlies owner Robert Pera has reportedly had strong feelings about Joerger before. If the owner wants to fire Joerger, I’m not sure Wallace can stop it.