A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Mike Woodson may be the right coach for the Kings

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mike-woodson

 

Mike Woodson will be one of the Kings first interviews for their vacant coaching position. Woodson isn’t as hot a name as hires like Tom Thibodeau or Scott Brooks, or Luke Walton if he hits the market. In a league where everyone dreams of being the 73-9 Warriors who built a masterpiece of ball movement and pace, Woodson is a coach known for playing slow and isolating.

But coaching is weird. Last year the Pelicans strategy under Monty Williams seemed slow and antiquated, but nothing was wrong with the results. They won 45 games despite a bundle of injuries. The Pelicans thought hiring Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry would unlock the potential of their roster, but it backfired. Randy Wittman tried to make the Wizards faster and smaller to match John Wall’s strengths and it cost him the job. The Thunder finally replacing Scott Brooks with Billy Donovan didn’t lead to the team taking off.

With Mike Woodson, you can’t knock the results too badly. After the early rebuilding seasons in Hawks, he went on to average 45.6 wins his next five full seasons as coach, not counting the half season taking over for Mike D’Antoni in New York. He’s coached five playoff teams and made the 2nd round three times. With the Hawks he once won 53 games led by Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, Jamal Crawford. In New York they won 54 led by Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, J.R. Smith. Not that these teams weren’t talented, but it looks to me they won as much as you could ask of either roster. It’s not all sunshine and roses as Woodson was fired by the Knicks for a reason after they collapsed to 37 Ws, but the Knicks have only played worse in the two seasons since.

He also may fit the team. A team with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay leading the way was never going to move the ball like the the Warriors or Spurs. The same strategy that led to success on teams with Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Jamal Crawford or Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith taking the most shots, may be the right fit for their strengths and weaknesses.

Mike Woodson is probably not the coaching hire that wins you a title, but after the last decade and the clock ticking until Cousins free agency, the Kings would kill for a nice, 45 W season right now. There’s a case he’s the best man for that job.

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Written by jr.

April 26, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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