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View Full Version : Redemption: Mike D'Antoni



shep33
12-22-2016, 09:46 AM
Pretty impressive record for a team many of us didn't think would be this good.

Amazing how well he looks when he has the right players on his squad. Also his weakness though. Seems like he can only coach one set of players under one system. Regardless, he's off to a great start.

Question is, how far can Houston go in the playoffs?

warfelg
12-22-2016, 10:12 AM
D'Antoni's issues have never been the regular season. It's always been the playoffs.

PowerHouse
12-22-2016, 11:01 AM
Redemption would be if he wins a ring, but it'll prolly be a 1st round bounce.

JasonJohnHorn
12-22-2016, 11:31 AM
For me, a great coach can coach any roster of guys and help them improve.

A great coach, doesn't need 'the right player's.

I've said this before, and I point to Pat Riley as an example, but it applies to Pop to given how drastically different his teams have been over the course of 20 years.


In LAL, Riley ran the 'showtime Lakers', and everybody associated them with a fast-paced offense. He leaves, goes to New York, who mind you, were not terribly good at the time, and he simply didn't have the offensive fire power to run that same game. What did he do? Focused on defense. Slowed the game down, took a page out of Detroit's play book, set an extremely high standard for defense, and then went on to face Jordan's Bulls, who the played on a par with and would have beat had officials be more impartial in their officiating.


Riley took a drastically different group of players and was still able to put together a contender. He used a similar style initially with the Heat and did very well, but with the Wade/Shaq Heat, later on, it was a very different make-up of players. He still had lots of talent, but he turned a chucker like Antoine Walker into a charge-taking role player who was committed to doing dirty work.

'Antoni had a solid roster in New York when he arrived, and was in a weak Eastern conference. He should have done better, but because he needs a specific set of players for his system to work, he failed. Part of the problem, and it's come out with George Karl's new book, is that 'Antoni doesn't know defence. Karl noted that Melo struggled to commit himself to stopping other guys, and when 'Antoni came in, he facilitated that problem rather than addressing it, to the point where guys who are offensive minded criticized him for not running defensive drill in practice.


He is good at what he does, but he doesn't have the acumen to help any team improve. He's the guy you bring in when you are struggling to see if you can jump start the team, but when they hit a wall, you bring in a closer.

He is capable of winning a championship with his style, but average coaches have won with great talent (Spo, Lue). And even bad coaches have gotten into the finals (Blatt, Byron Scott).

He reminds me of Don Nelson. In certain situations, he can help guys win more games, but he will stagnate, and in other situations he simply won't do well.


Two things to add here: I feel like he would have won a title in Phoenix if not for that Robert Horry incident, and if the Suns had been willing to pay to keep that roster together. So I do think he is good enough to win.

Second, I don't agree with people who suggest he revolutionized offense. What he didn't wasn't so different than what Rudy T did, and what the Showtime Lakers did. I actually feel like the current mode in the NBA owes a lot more to Rudy T's style than 'Antoni. Rudy T focused on opening things up for perimeter players and getting them open threes. He happened to have perhaps the best post player of all time on his team, so he used him, just as PJax used Shaq instead of focusing too much on Kobe, but Rudy was a winner because he knew the value of the 3pt shots. The league regressed after that because they brought the 3pt line in, so guys who were good at 20-footers were suddenly 3pt shooters, and when the line went back out, the league seemed to kind of revert back to the post game for a few seasons. Credit to 'Antoni for helping to bring that back, but Kerr has perfected that system by bringing a strong defensive scheme into play and making everybody a play maker.

ewing
12-22-2016, 12:03 PM
D'Antoni's issues have never been the regular season. It's always been the playoffs.

I disagree, I think those Phx teams play well in the playoffs. Not every good team wins a chip. They played well, they played hard, they played good teams, and had some tough breaks but it wasn't like they layed an egg in the playoffs. I thought the Suns were involved great playoffs series at the time.

ewing
12-22-2016, 12:06 PM
Redemption would be if he wins a ring, but it'll prolly be a 1st round bounce.

what does he need to redeem himself for? Losing in LA and NY. When mgt is on the same page as him and he has players he is a good coach. When they aren't and he doesn't he isn't. That's not unusual

shep33
12-22-2016, 02:13 PM
For me, a great coach can coach any roster of guys and help them improve.

A great coach, doesn't need 'the right player's.

I've said this before, and I point to Pat Riley as an example, but it applies to Pop to given how drastically different his teams have been over the course of 20 years.


In LAL, Riley ran the 'showtime Lakers', and everybody associated them with a fast-paced offense. He leaves, goes to New York, who mind you, were not terribly good at the time, and he simply didn't have the offensive fire power to run that same game. What did he do? Focused on defense. Slowed the game down, took a page out of Detroit's play book, set an extremely high standard for defense, and then went on to face Jordan's Bulls, who the played on a par with and would have beat had officials be more impartial in their officiating.


Riley took a drastically different group of players and was still able to put together a contender. He used a similar style initially with the Heat and did very well, but with the Wade/Shaq Heat, later on, it was a very different make-up of players. He still had lots of talent, but he turned a chucker like Antoine Walker into a charge-taking role player who was committed to doing dirty work.

'Antoni had a solid roster in New York when he arrived, and was in a weak Eastern conference. He should have done better, but because he needs a specific set of players for his system to work, he failed. Part of the problem, and it's come out with George Karl's new book, is that 'Antoni doesn't know defence. Karl noted that Melo struggled to commit himself to stopping other guys, and when 'Antoni came in, he facilitated that problem rather than addressing it, to the point where guys who are offensive minded criticized him for not running defensive drill in practice.


He is good at what he does, but he doesn't have the acumen to help any team improve. He's the guy you bring in when you are struggling to see if you can jump start the team, but when they hit a wall, you bring in a closer.

He is capable of winning a championship with his style, but average coaches have won with great talent (Spo, Lue). And even bad coaches have gotten into the finals (Blatt, Byron Scott).

He reminds me of Don Nelson. In certain situations, he can help guys win more games, but he will stagnate, and in other situations he simply won't do well.


Two things to add here: I feel like he would have won a title in Phoenix if not for that Robert Horry incident, and if the Suns had been willing to pay to keep that roster together. So I do think he is good enough to win.

Second, I don't agree with people who suggest he revolutionized offense. What he didn't wasn't so different than what Rudy T did, and what the Showtime Lakers did. I actually feel like the current mode in the NBA owes a lot more to Rudy T's style than 'Antoni. Rudy T focused on opening things up for perimeter players and getting them open threes. He happened to have perhaps the best post player of all time on his team, so he used him, just as PJax used Shaq instead of focusing too much on Kobe, but Rudy was a winner because he knew the value of the 3pt shots. The league regressed after that because they brought the 3pt line in, so guys who were good at 20-footers were suddenly 3pt shooters, and when the line went back out, the league seemed to kind of revert back to the post game for a few seasons. Credit to 'Antoni for helping to bring that back, but Kerr has perfected that system by bringing a strong defensive scheme into play and making everybody a play maker.

Agreed. Pretty insane when you think about how close that team in Phoenix came if it wasn't for the Horry incident. That being said, he works well in his system when he has the right pieces. I agree with you that guys like Pop and Riley can adjust to the game and play different styles, making them great coaches.

I think MDA is above average when you place him in the right situation, and this was a great hire by Houston, because they built this team around his basketball ideology.

JasonJohnHorn
12-22-2016, 09:52 PM
Agreed. Pretty insane when you think about how close that team in Phoenix came if it wasn't for the Horry incident. That being said, he works well in his system when he has the right pieces. I agree with you that guys like Pop and Riley can adjust to the game and play different styles, making them great coaches.

I think MDA is above average when you place him in the right situation, and this was a great hire by Houston, because they built this team around his basketball ideology.

It was a great hire. Seems to be a perfect fit.

McHale was just too old-school to get what Harden could do. You could tell he liked his post players. I like McHale, but he simply isn't a great coach. He did get a bad rap for what I believe was a roster issue, injuries, and Dwight Howard's ego, which nobody has been able to work around, but he also wasn't the right coach for this roster.


Not a huge fan of 'Antoni, but I'll give him kudos.

HandsOnTheWheel
12-22-2016, 10:05 PM
Pringles.

zn23
12-23-2016, 01:13 AM
Considering they're the 3rd best team in the West and only have 1 all-star? I'd see he's done a fabulous job and is probably running away with Coach of the Year so far. The Rockets were going nowhere at the end of last season, then they lost Dwight, and the consensus was they'd probably be the 8th seed if they were lucky and get bounced in the first round.

But D'Antoni is getting the best out of Harden, and turning him into an MVP candidate, and the Rockets look like they could meet the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Just take a look at the game against SA, they were bricking 3's, They shot 6-38 from the 3 and were in position to win the game had Patty Mills not hit a clutch 3.

D-Leethal
12-23-2016, 01:05 PM
Mike D has always been a beast. Give the man his horses and let him work.

Coaches aren't one size fits all. A great coach in one situation is a dud in another. Popovich and Riley are the exceptions, not the rule. There are more than 2 great coaches in NBA history.

hugepatsfan
12-23-2016, 02:01 PM
I think it's been known that with the right players his run and gun style can win regular season games. I think in NY/LA people thought his system was a terrible fit for who he was working with but that's different. I think the question that remains with him is if he can have sustained playoff success with such little defensive emphasis.

He's gone above and beyond what I think people expected in HOU. He's done a great job with Harden and making it work within that system. Really unleashed his full potential. So give him a ton of credit for this year. But I don't think he's answered the main questions surrounding him yet and he won't be able to until the playoffs.

ewing
12-23-2016, 02:29 PM
I think it's been known that with the right players his run and gun style can win regular season games. I think in NY/LA people thought his system was a terrible fit for who he was working with but that's different. I think the question that remains with him is if he can have sustained playoff success with such little defensive emphasis.

He's gone above and beyond what I think people expected in HOU. He's done a great job with Harden and making it work within that system. Really unleashed his full potential. So give him a ton of credit for this year. But I don't think he's answered the main questions surrounding him yet and he won't be able to until the playoffs.


Do you think Phx was unsuccessful in the playoffs? they lost but so does every team but one, i think. IMO they performed well. I think Mike has already had teams that performed in the playoffs

hugepatsfan
12-23-2016, 02:38 PM
Do you think Phx was unsuccessful in the playoffs? they lost but so does every team but one, i think. IMO they performed well. I think Mike has already had teams that performed in the playoffs

It's not that they were terrible or complete flops, but they never got over the hump. Which happens to a lot of teams. But considering the unique philosophy of Mike D, there are questions as to how much if a role he played in them never getting over the hump. Those are totally fair questions IMO.

D-Leethal
12-23-2016, 05:14 PM
Mike D's playoff success is much closer to GREAT than BAD. I don't think there is a line in the sand that says you can win a ton of playoff games with a style but "not get over the hump" with the style. The best team wins, PHX never got it done but I don't think it's fair to scapegoat Mike D's system as the reason. I mean is the scapegoat for every team "that never got over the hump" the coaches system? If so, there are a helluva lot of systems that you can't win with in this league. Not just Mike's.

D-Leethal
12-23-2016, 05:16 PM
It's not that they were terrible or complete flops, but they never got over the hump. Which happens to a lot of teams. But considering the unique philosophy of Mike D, there are questions as to how much if a role he played in them never getting over the hump. Those are totally fair questions IMO.

Mike's philosophy was unique in 2004, but it isn't now. Damn near every team stole his philosophy and it's now the status quo. I think the days of "can that win in this league" are far over. That IS the league.

flea
12-23-2016, 05:32 PM
Always was a great coach. The only reason that was briefly in doubt by people who don't look too closely at basketball was because he lost games for 2 high profile teams.

The proof is there on the court nightly, every team in the league runs a P&R transition game. Different teams have different tweaks but if you've got shooting and ballhandling (which is very easy to have these days in the no-defense era) then you've got a workable offense under his principles. D'Antoni certainly isn't the first NBA coach to utilize a P&R based offense or speed but his stuff has become iconic for this era in the same way Showtime Lakers laid the foundation for teams like MJ's Bulls to base their offense around transition and turnovers.

He lost games for high profile teams because he forgot the NBA truism - that it's a player's league. Howard and Kobe weren't interested in learning or running a P&R offense at the level required to make his system work. They could have, they chose not to and then injuries devastated his old roster. In NY he actually had some degree of success before the uselessness of his players and stars sunk his tenure. Carmelo is a perpetual loser who has played for 2 HOF coaches that won big without him - he is the problem there and not the coaches who did something that not even Phil Jackson was able to do.

I don't like Harden's playing style but if we're going to pretend that it's good slashing basketball then at least he's in a system that's going to put up points and make it look half decent. I'm also glad when a good coach doesn't go out on a sour note because NBA stars are children and FOs are too cowardly to cross them (ahem Adelman ahem Karl).

ewing
12-23-2016, 09:02 PM
Mike D's playoff success is much closer to GREAT than BAD. I don't think there is a line in the sand that says you can win a ton of playoff games with a style but "not get over the hump" with the style. The best team wins, PHX never got it done but I don't think it's fair to scapegoat Mike D's system as the reason. I mean is the scapegoat for every team "that never got over the hump" the coaches system? If so, there are a helluva lot of systems that you can't win with in this league. Not just Mike's.

I agree and i think there different levels of competition. The level some of those Phx series were at cant be blamed on the coach. The best teams in the world were pushing one another and making each other better. If you lose that kind of war against the best its not b/c your system is for losers.

D-Leethal
12-23-2016, 09:28 PM
I agree and i think there different levels of competition. The level some of those Phx series were at cant be blamed on the coach. The best teams in the world were pushing one another and making each other better. If you lose that kind of war against the best its not b/c your system is for losers.

Agreed. I think far too often we are looking for scapegoats, and looking for something to pin losses on. Throughout a war of a basketball series at the highest level of competition as you stated, there is usually never one sole reason one team loses.

I mean if a couple extra buckets and a couple extra calls went PHX's way and they win a chip, now is Mike D's system all of a sudden playoff-sufficient and a surefire winning style? That type of chatter never made any sense to me.

ewing
12-23-2016, 10:02 PM
Agreed. I think far too often we are looking for scapegoats, and looking for something to pin losses on. Throughout a war of a basketball series at the highest level of competition as you stated, there is usually never one sole reason one team loses.

I mean if a couple extra buckets and a couple extra calls went PHX's way and they win a chip, now is Mike D's system all of a sudden playoff-sufficient and a surefire winning style? That type of chatter never made any sense to me.


people want it to be intellectually all the time. You play at that level players, performance, and chance are weighing more the system IMO. They excelled in there system. so did the spurs. do people think if they ran Chuck Daily's system they would have beat the Spurs.

Miltstar
12-23-2016, 11:52 PM
Carmelo is a perpetual loser who has played for 2 HOF coaches that won big without him - he is the problem there and not the coaches who did something that not even Phil Jackson was able to do.

I don't think it's fair to put it all on Carmello, it's not like he's had a decent roster around him ever in NY, this is the best team he's had and their back over .500

Blitzbolt
12-25-2016, 10:48 AM
That playing style is awful for the playoffs average teams who play defense like Grizzlies and Jazz could easily beat them .

The Grizz haven't loss to a MD is years since they usually go super small.

Clint Olbrock
12-25-2016, 12:01 PM
Average coaches have won with great talent (Spo, Lue). And even bad coaches have gotten into the finals (Blatt, Byron Scott).
Shwoo, the hate is real!

Blatt was not a great NBA coach but dude is not complete butt cheeks as far as coaching basketball goes.

After not even a full season and Lue is already labeled average, wow! He's in history for that comeback from down 3-1 in the Finals...

I know you're talking about the Nets version of Scott but the dude did what he could with what he had while in CLE.

Throwin' that salt!

More-Than-Most
12-25-2016, 02:10 PM
Its not that he hasnt been good in the playoffs as a coach because he has... Its that this system is just bad when it comes to the playoffs and just wont hold up... You can get away with this in the regular season where you have 3 or 4 days off here and there and you go from playing the spurs to the suns to the sixers.... Come playoff time when you play every other day against the clippers and then the spurs and warriors and so on this run and gun system will go cold and look terrible or the players will run out of gas.... Its a bad recipe... Its fun and I loved watching the suns and Nash but it just cant work and it wont work over a 7 game span against good west teams.

ewing
12-26-2016, 09:25 AM
Its not that he hasnt been good in the playoffs as a coach because he has... Its that this system is just bad when it comes to the playoffs and just wont hold up... You can get away with this in the regular season where you have 3 or 4 days off here and there and you go from playing the spurs to the suns to the sixers.... Come playoff time when you play every other day against the clippers and then the spurs and warriors and so on this run and gun system will go cold and look terrible or the players will run out of gas.... Its a bad recipe... Its fun and I loved watching the suns and Nash but it just cant work and it wont work over a 7 game span against good west teams.

The Spurs and Warriors both won titles playing pick a d roll heavy- run a gun basketball


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Iron24th
12-26-2016, 09:58 AM
D'antoni always needed shooters, there are a ton in houston, so not really surprised that it's working, I wouldn't have predicted them that good though.

HouRealCoach
12-26-2016, 12:07 PM
He only had a bad rep when he came to the Knicks... In PHX, he did great. In LA, with all of those locker room issues in 2013, he still managed to end that season with a 28-12 record.

He attempted to get Carmelo to be a playmaker but he just isn't good enough to do that.

He's a great offensive coach though

Clint Olbrock
12-26-2016, 12:19 PM
His last 3 playoff apperances have resulted in a 1-12 record. All first round exits, with 3 different teams.

We'll just have to see how he does in the playoffs this season.

Billups said last night that he thinks the Rockets can go to the WCF this season.

Giannis94
12-26-2016, 01:48 PM
pointless thread. knicks never put a team around him

hugepatsfan
12-26-2016, 04:41 PM
The Spurs and Warriors both won titles playing pick a d roll heavy- run a gun basketball


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

They also played terrific D. That's where the criticism of Mike D comes. Every coach ever has always said defense is crucial. Then we have one guy who think it's pretty much a waste of time/effort. So when that coach has never been able to win, people are always going to ask if his ignoring what everyone else says is crucial is a part of the reason.

The criticism of Mike D isn't that he should have won Series X or Y. It's just philosophically people doubt a team will ever win without paying any attention to defense. And until a team wins it all doing that people will always have that question.

D-Leethal
12-26-2016, 07:43 PM
They also played terrific D. That's where the criticism of Mike D comes. Every coach ever has always said defense is crucial. Then we have one guy who think it's pretty much a waste of time/effort. So when that coach has never been able to win, people are always going to ask if his ignoring what everyone else says is crucial is a part of the reason.

The criticism of Mike D isn't that he should have won Series X or Y. It's just philosophically people doubt a team will ever win without paying any attention to defense. And until a team wins it all doing that people will always have that question.

I've always thought this idea was pretty ****ing stupid. Absolute nonsense and based off of nothing actually.

You don't run a middle of the pack NBA defense without "paying any attention to defense". Do you honestly think he didn't have any defensive schemes? He didn't implement different ways to defend different sets? Didn't have different schemes for different types and levels of oppositional talent? He just said "**** it, pick a man and man up" to his guys when preparing for Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili?

The pick and roll maestro that has different ways to attack myriads of different pick and roll defenses didn't teach his own team how to defend the pick and roll?

All hype, no substance behind the idea that Mike D hates defense, doesn't teach it, doesn't know what it means. He is an offensive coach, that is his identity, but there doesn't preclude him from teaching defense. Don't be so easily fooled by storylines next time.

D-Leethal
12-26-2016, 07:46 PM
Fun fact: Mike D'Antoni coached the Knicks to a 3rd ranked DRTG during Tyson's DPOY year.

flea
12-26-2016, 09:20 PM
I've always thought this idea was pretty ****ing stupid. Absolute nonsense and based off of nothing actually.

You don't run a middle of the pack NBA defense without "paying any attention to defense". Do you honestly think he didn't have any defensive schemes? He didn't implement different ways to defend different sets? Didn't have different schemes for different types and levels of oppositional talent? He just said "**** it, pick a man and man up" to his guys when preparing for Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili?

The pick and roll maestro that has different ways to attack myriads of different pick and roll defenses didn't teach his own team how to defend the pick and roll?

All hype, no substance behind the idea that Mike D hates defense, doesn't teach it, doesn't know what it means. He is an offensive coach, that is his identity, but there doesn't preclude him from teaching defense. Don't be so easily fooled by storylines next time.

My favorite misconception about basketball by casual NBA fans is that defense is only about effort. My 2nd favorite one is that some mythical coach can turn Stat into Rodman, presumably by X and O magic. D'Antoni's teams were good defensively for their personnel and scheme.

The Suns weren't going to win more games by playing the Spurs style of ISO offense + chase down shooters defense. In fact that was the whole storyline in those series - that the Spurs forced the Suns to play their style against their will. If the Suns had Duncan they would have won, they didn't so they lost. It had nothing to do with scheme since the schemes were built around Nash and Duncan respectively. Nash would run a gameplan built for Tim Duncan no better than Tim Duncan would run a gameplan built for Nash.

It's like how every announcer would say "X Team has to stop the Bulls in transition and do something to break their pressure." So, okay, that's how you beat MJ and Pippen. That's what coaches try to get their teams to do. But just telling your team to do something doesn't make it happen. Stopping MJ from getting in transition or getting into the paint isn't a matter of coaching or just telling your players to do it or anything. It's about talent.

NBA is even more of a copycat league than the NFL or MLB - if any coach was doing something secretive and special to steal games it wouldn't be for long. NBA is a talent league, more than any other sports league.

lol, please
12-26-2016, 09:29 PM
Pretty impressive record for a team many of us didn't think would be this good.

Amazing how well he looks when he has the right players on his squad. Also his weakness though. Seems like he can only coach one set of players under one system. Regardless, he's off to a great start.

Question is, how far can Houston go in the playoffs?
After the Spurs I would say they are the biggest threat in the west to the Warriors.

I am looking forward to seeing how he runs his offense in the playoffs.

D-Leethal
12-26-2016, 09:57 PM
My favorite misconception about basketball by casual NBA fans is that defense is only about effort. My 2nd favorite one is that some mythical coach can turn Stat into Rodman, presumably by X and O magic. D'Antoni's teams were good defensively for their personnel and scheme.

The Suns weren't going to win more games by playing the Spurs style of ISO offense + chase down shooters defense. In fact that was the whole storyline in those series - that the Spurs forced the Suns to play their style against their will. If the Suns had Duncan they would have won, they didn't so they lost. It had nothing to do with scheme since the schemes were built around Nash and Duncan respectively. Nash would run a gameplan built for Tim Duncan no better than Tim Duncan would run a gameplan built for Nash.

It's like how every announcer would say "X Team has to stop the Bulls in transition and do something to break their pressure." So, okay, that's how you beat MJ and Pippen. That's what coaches try to get their teams to do. But just telling your team to do something doesn't make it happen. Stopping MJ from getting in transition or getting into the paint isn't a matter of coaching or just telling your players to do it or anything. It's about talent.

NBA is even more of a copycat league than the NFL or MLB - if any coach was doing something secretive and special to steal games it wouldn't be for long. NBA is a talent league, more than any other sports league.

I think Minny doing as poor as they are doing on defense under Thibs should quell that notion a bit.

I think Mike D is one of the best "identity" coaches out there. If you give him mediocre talent that fits his identity he will have them overachieve like he did during the Linsanity run. Even right now - he has Harden who is a legit #1 but there is not much else to look at on that roster. If you pepper his lineup with supreme talent that fits his scheme they will be a dominant contender with as good a shot as anyone to win it all. Seems everyone else gets the LeBron excuse that you need the best talent to win but it gets omitted when talking about Mike D's Suns. Also, he had like a 3 year window to take a shot at it given Amare's injuries. It's like he had 15-20 year window like Jerry Sloan.

Those Suns teams were very good - but they were still teams built around an extremely flawed lead player duo. Steve Nash was north of 30, barely an all star and had the body of an 8 year old. People act like he failed to take out Duncan with a squad built around top 10 all time player or something.

Raps18-19 Champ
12-27-2016, 12:35 AM
They're a little better than what I expected them to be but I always felt D'Antoni would be good for that team in the regular season. The playoffs is a different beast though.