A chief reason ‘coaching matters’ in the NBA
As the so-called “stats-based” analysis of basketball has proliferated in the on-line community, a popular mantra has developed which goes something like this:
“Coaching, per se, does not really matter in the NBA. Instead, having enough ‘above-average-to-great’ players on your team is what really determines winning from losing in the game of basketball.”
- Every Stats-based Basketball Guru Under The Sun
Wages of Wins Journal
If/when you examine closely what actually happened during last night’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals what you should be able to see is a perfect example of why the people who consistently de-value the contributions made by an authentic elite level head coach to the success or failure of his team are not really worth listening to … as far as being able to accurately determine “Winners from Losers” in the game of basketball is concerned.
If the Mavericks’ stellar head coach, Rick Carlisle, did not make the proper offensive adjustment … which he made, in spades, coming down the stretch of the 4th quarter, in Game 2 … then, in all likelihood, Dallas would now find itself in a significant deficit situation [i.e. 0-2], heading home for Game 3, while the Miami Heat would be virtually guaranteed to win the 2010-2011 NBA Championship.
[NOTE: These video clips are from NBA Playbook, where Sebastian Pruiti has done a bang-on job of breaking down the Mavericks' use of the "Staggered Wing Picks Series" last night.]
What Dallas emphasized on Offense in Game 1
In contrast with …
What Dallas emphasized on Offense in Game 2 … with 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter
Yes, having enough “above-average to great” players on your team is most certainly a fundamental requirement in order to win a NBA Championship … but so, too, is it a fundamental requirement that your team also has an authentic “elite level head coach” who is able to see accurately what is actually happening on the floor in a game AND then make the right adjustments to put his players in the best position possible to succeed against a high calibre opponent.
Players make plays to win or lose basketball games … based on whether, or not, they are actually put into the most advantageous positions possible to succeed by their head coach and his staff.
PS. The proverbial “ball” is now back in the hands of Erik Spoelstra. It will be very interesting to see what adjustments he will make next to Miami’s defensive scheme.