Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thoughts on the Little General

I'm just thinking outloud here. Just a thought. I'm not sure if this is right or not, but I'm saying it anyways. Here goes.

Avery Johnson is a heck of a coach. Goes without saying (but I'm going to say it anyways). He inspires and motivates his players to play at a level they weren't playing at before he took over. In my limited knowledge of NBA X's and O's, he seems to run good sets for his players and puts them in positions to be successful (iso's for Dirk on the elbow, single/double choices for Jason Terry along the baseline, top of the key drive opportunities for Devin Harris, etc.). And his ability to lead is maybe (probably) his most compelling trait.

In every series he has coached this postseason, he has been lauded for "outcoaching" his counterpart down the sideline. He makes personnel moves the other coaches either don't see coming or can't handle.

Now, I'll give credit where credit is due, but...might we be heaping just a bit too much on Avery? He's coaching far and away the deepest team in the league (10 deep?!). He makes moves other coaches can't handle simply because they don't have the personnel to do so. What coach wouldn't kill for the flexibility Avery has at his fingertips? The ability to go small or big, play up-tempo or half-court or anywhere in between. Whatever the opponent calls for, he has an answer ready to go.

Of course, the ability to come up with those answers is commendable, and is something probably only a handful of coaches could do with the consistancy and success Avery has done it with. It's kinda like a multiple choice test; Avery has the answer to any situation staring him in the face, he just has to be smart enough to pick it. And Avery is smart enough. No denying that.

It just seems like if Don Nelson tried to get them to play any defense, the Mavs could have been doing this a little while ago. That might be unfair - Dirk certainly isn't the player he is now, and Devin Harris has exploded in Howard has gotten better...Does that make Nelson stupid or Avery smart? Probbaly both. God I wish I had a point here.

All I'm saying is, as good as of a job as Avery is doing, maybe it isn't the most difficult task in the world. Then again, maybe it is (after all, if Don Nelson can't do it, who can?). I dunno. Jus sayin'.

(I think I'm just curious exactly how good of a motivator Avery is. What if he was coaching, say, the Wizards or the Lakers. If he was forced to play a certain style with a limited roster, could he do it? Probably, but I don't think we'll know for a while since the Mavs are more stacked than Pamela Anderson (Yes! A boob joke! Tee-hee.) for the foreseeable future. Stack is getting up in years, but the core - Dirk, Terry, Howard, Harris - are all good to go for a while. Good times for Mavs fans.)

I started writing this and I wasn't exactly sure what my point was gonna be, and now I'm done and I have even less of an idea. Avery Johnson would do good on the SATs was my point, I think.

Good one, me. Moron.

1 comments so far. Might as well add your own.:

Anonymous said...

it would be nice if u had an original thought for once. Not something from PTI or Around the Horn

just a thought