Posts Tagged ‘Joe Dumars’
If you read this blog on a regular basis, you already know that, since it’s inception, there have only been 3 NBA head coaches who this corner has advocated should no longer be employed by their [then] current team:
1. Flip Saunders
2. Michael Curry
3. John Kuester
each of whom was working for the Detroit Pistons at the time.
Joe Dumars introduced his new head coach earlier today.
“It’s the players, not the plays,” he said. “There’s an old adage in coaching: ‘It’s not about the Xs and Os, it’s about the Jack and Joes.’ … When I first sat down with Joe, the first 15 minutes basically he was talking about Coach [Chuck] Daly, and what he was as a coach. And what he hit on was why Coach Daly was one of the greatest coaches ever: it’s about meshing and managing personalities. It’s about getting 12 to 15 independent contractors, so to speak, to buy into one vision. “It’s not about the Xs and Os. Now, does that play a part? Of course. I don’t think that our playbook is any more extensive than any other playbook, it’s about the guys you’re coaching, it’s about getting them to play together, it’s about getting them to buy into a common vision about what we’re going to be about. “And you know what? It’s easy to do it when you’re winning, it’s hard to do it when you’re struggling. And that’s why as a coach, you have to stand for what you believe in: this is who we are, this is what we do. And if not, there’s gotta be accountability and consequences. That’s coaching.”
Kudos to both men for getting Lawrence Frank’s tenure in Detroit off to a good start.
According to published reports yesterday, the Detroit Pistons have agreed to hire Lawrence Frank, as their next head coach … which is what this corner suggested last week they should eventually end up doing, if they are truly committed to hiring someone with prior NBA head coaching experience.
Q1. What should Pistons fans expect to see from Lawrence Frank?
A1. Expect him to establish a solid 8-9 player rotation for the Pistons, clarifying each of their roles and creating a definitive pecking order for the remainder of the roster.
This is something which good NBA coaches do in their sleep [so-to-speak] … and something which John Kuester was unable to ever do over the course of his 2 seasons as Detroit’s head coach.
Expect Lawrence Frank to do a good job coaching the Pistons and for him to un-muddy the waters fairly quickly for the Pistons at the crucial PG, OG and SF positions, re: the collective mess that exists with:
Rodney Stuckey – No. 1 PG, until further notice
Brandon Knight – No. 2 PG, until further notice
Will Bynum – No. 3 PG, or traded
Richard Hamilton – No. 1 OG, or traded
Ben Gordon – No. 2 OG, or traded
Terrico White – No. 3 OG, or traded
Austin Daye – ensconced at the Forward position with, either, Tayshaun Prince or Jonas Jerebko [if Prince is not re-signed or traded] and Kyle Singler [No. 3?]
For each of the last 3 seasons, the Pistons have had solid [although far from great!] NBA-level talent that has simply not been used properly by Michael Curry and then John Kuester.
In this same regard, at least, Lawrence Frank actually knows what he’s doing as a legitimate NBA head coach.
With this specific hire, by Tom Gores [i.e. their new owner] and Joe Dumars [i.e. their old GM], the Pistons are now substantially ahead of where they were just 2 days ago, in spite of the League’s current lock-out situation … and, the fact that their overall roster does not yet have the talent level required to move into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.
According to Marc Stein, the Pistons would prefer to hire a new head coach who already has experience sitting in the lead man’s chair on a NBA sideline.
Of the five known candidates for job, sources say that former Pistons assistant Mike Woodson is still the closest thing to a favorite, thanks largely to Woodson’s good working relationship with Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars and the fact that Detroit would know exactly what it’s getting after Woodson’s work under Larry Brown during the Pistons’ 2004 title run.
Yet sources say that one reason Detroit’s search has dragged out so long is the strong impression that Lawrence Frank made on new Pistons owner Tom Gores and his advisers, among them former New York Knicks executive Dave Checketts.
Detroit’s choice, then, appears to be a tossup between the unattached Woodson and Frank, who remains part of Doc Rivers’ staff in Boston.
The other three known candidates to get interviews are Kelvin Sampson (about to leave Milwaukee to become Kevin McHale’s lead assistant in Houston), Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer (last seen on Rambis’ staff in Minnesota) and Checketts favorite Patrick Ewing (from Stan Van Gundy’s staff in Orlando). But sources have maintained throughout the process that Detroit’s preference is to hire a coach with previous head-coaching experience in the NBA after the recent unsuccessful stints for first-time head coaches Kuester and Michael Curry.
If this is, in fact, the case, then …
Joe Dumars should eventually hire Lawrence Frank, as the next head coach for Detroit. In all likelihood, the Pistons would not be able to win the NBA Championship under Frank’s direction, sometime down-the-road, but his career to-date does indicate that he has “the stuff” required – i.e. in terms of having: 1) A good conceptual framework for the way he wants his team to play, based on sound principles of Defense, Offense and Rebounding; 2) The ability to communicate effectively with his best players; 3) A sound grasp of X’s and O’s; and, 4) The ability, and the character, to withstand “the heat” involved with the position; etc. – to direct a first-class squad that is more than capable of consistently competing for a Top 6 playoff position … which would be a solid step forward for an operation that has gone significantly backwards each of the last 3 seasons working under less-than stellar head coaches without proven records of success in the NBA.
According to Dennis Velasco …
According to yours truly, the 10 players in this specific list should actually be ranked in the following order:
1. Michael Jordan;
2. Kobe Bryant;
3. Clyde Drexler;
4. Dwyane Wade;
5. Joe Dumars [NOTE: Should actually be considered only as a Combo Guard];
6. Manu Ginobili;
7. Ray Allen;
8. Reggie Miller;
9. Tracy McGrady; and,
10. Mitch Richmond;
as elite level basketball players … if one is going to evaluate them properly, as Off Guards, while considering ALL relevant aspects of the game.
Toronto chose Jonas Valanciunas with the No. 5 Selection in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Jonas plays the Center position and is currently listed as:
- 19 years of age.
Other KNOWN FACTS concerning Jonas Valanciunas, include the following:
i. He is a highly efficient scorer within close proximity of the basket [i.e. Euroleague/2010-2011: 70.0 FG%; 91.7 FT%; 0-0/3FG; 7.6 Pts/14.9 MP];
ii. Offensively, he has been used primarily in Pick and Roll situations;
iii. Rebounding is one of his strengths [i.e. Euroleague/2010-2011: 5.4 Rebs/14.9 MP];
iv. Shot blocking is one of his strengths [i.e. Euroleague/2010-2011: 0.6 BS/14.9 MP];
v. He plays the game with a good-to-high level of intensity;
vi. He is a relatively “good” athlete for a Center;
vii. He has a relatively “good” frame which should be able to carry additional weight, as he continues to mature physically;
viii. He was selected as the MVP for the European U 18 Men’s Championships last year [i.e. with 31 Pts and 18 Rebs in the Gold Medal game];
ix. He is under contract to his European club team for the 2011-2012 season and will only be eligible to join the Raptors for the 2012-2013 campaign, if there is a NBA season that year;
x. He is NOT Andrea Bargnani [C].
i. He is a relatively poor passer who does not yet display the ability to create easy baskets for his teammates [i.e. Euroleague/2010-2011: 0.2/Ast; 1.4/TO];
ii. He is NOT Brandon Knight [PG] or Jan Vesely [SF/PF], each of whom was also still available when the Raptors made the No. 5 Selection … and a player with the capacity to eventually become a “star” in the NBA – according to yours truly, based upon “positional upside” [i.e. relative skill-set and athleticism at the position played] – with Derrick Williams [SF] and Kyrie Irving [PG] no longer available; and,
iii. He is NOT Tobias Harris [SF/PG] or Davis Bertans [SF], or [even] Josh Selby [PG], each of whom was still available when the Raptors made the No. 5 Selection … and a player with the capacity to eventually become a “star” in the NBA, if the Raptors would have decided to “trade down”, in an effort to acquire more than only 1 future rotation player from this year’s Draft.
|2011 NBA Draft Prospects With Good Upside,
Relative To Their Position
|Name||Hgt||Wgt||Pos||Age||Comp. Player Type||Obtained By|
|Projected as a 1st Round Selection|
|Derrick||Williams *||6-9||250||SF/PF||20||Paul Pierce||Minnesota/Kahn|
|Brandon||Knight *||6-3||180||PG||19||Joe Dumars||Detroit/Dumars $|
|Jan||Vesely *||6-11||240||SF/PF||21||Andrei Kirilenko||Washington/Grunfeld|
|Nikola||Vucevic||7-0||260||PF/C||20||Robert Parrish||Philadelphia/Stefanski $|
|Donatas||Motiejunas||7-0||215||PF/C||20||Toni Kukoc||Houston/Morey %|
|Kenneth||Faried||6-8||225||PF||21||Brian Grant||Denver/Ujiri %|
|Tobias||Harris *||6-8||225||SF/PG||18||Mark Aguirre/Magic Johnson||Milwaukee/Hammond $|
|Iman||Shumpert||6-6||220||PG||20||Ron Harper||New York/Walsh $|
|Kyle||Singler||6-9||225||SF||23||Shane battier||Detroit/Dumars $|
|Davis||Bertans *||6-10||210||SF/PF||18||Larry Bird/Dirk Nowitzki||San Antonio/Buford $|
|Chandler||Parsons||6-10||220||PF||22||Mike Miller||Houston/Morey %|
|Projected as a 2nd Round Selection|
|Josh||Selby *||6-3||195||PG||20||Dennis Johnson||Memphis/Wallace|
|Nolan||Smith *||6-4||190||PG||22||Jason Kidd||Portland/Buchanan|
|Norris||Cole||6-2||175||PG||22||Maurice Cheeks||Miami/Riley $|
|Shelvin||Mack *||6-2||210||PG||21||Jo Jo White||Washington/Grunfeld|
|Adam||Hanga *||6-7||220||G/F||22||Manu Ginobili||San Antonio/Buford $|
|LEGEND: Bold – Has the capacity to become a “star” player; Italics – Much better than many draft evaluators realize with the capacity to become a high end player in the NBA; * – Should be a target for Toronto, in effort to, either, trade up or down; $ – Former NBA Champion or Finalist, as an executive; % – Up-and-coming executive with a keen eye for NBA level talent.|
By making this specific selection, the Raptors:
i. Added a very solid prospect … for the 2012-2013 season … with the ability to become a 10+ year, starting Center in the NBA;
ii. Increased their likelihood of being in the 2012-2013 NBA Draft Lottery;
iii. Failed to add a, possible, future “star” player to their current roster, in the form of Brandon Knight, or Jan Vesely, or Tobias Harris, or Davis Bertans [or, even, Josh Selby]; and,
iv. Re-confirmed their commitment to their players from last season, as their core group moving forward, including some combination of: A) Youngsters – DeMar DeRozan [OG/SF], Jerryd Bayless [PG/OG], Sonny Weems [OG/SF], James Johnson [SF/PF], Julian Wright [SF/PG], Ed Davis [PF], Amir Johnson [PF], Joey Dorsey [PF], Solomon Alabi [C] and Alexis Ajinca [C]; B) Young Vets – Andrea Bargnani [PF/C] and Linas Kleiza [SF/PF]; and, C) Veterans – Jose Calderon [PG], Leandro Barbosa [OG/PG] and Reggie Evans [PF].
Although Jonas Valanciunas [C] is almost certain to become a “good” Center in the NBA, sometime down-the-road … ala Pervis Ellison, Joel Przybilla, or Zydrunas Ilgauskas, etc. … in terms of being able to compete for, and eventually win, a League Championship … it is most unfortunate that the Raptors, once again, wasted another golden opportunity to add a future “star” player – i.e. with ahigh degree of Positional Skill, Athleticism, and Leadership – to their existing roster and, instead, were trumped by the likes of RC Buford, Joe Dumars, Pat Riley, John Hammond, Ed Stefanski and Daryl Morey.
Detroit Pistons head coach John Kuester will not be returning for the 2011-12 season, according to sources. Although there has been no official word from the Pistons, sources say it is expected that president Joe Dumars and his staff will be returning.
The Good News
After 2 very disappointing seasons at the helm in Detroit, it now seems likely that John Kuester will not be the Pistons’ head coach going forward.
The Bad News
Mike Woodson is not the type of elite level basketball coach who the Pistons need to find, in order to [eventually] reclaim their former spot in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.
PS. Hopefully, Joe Dumars [GM] will show better judgment than this and choose to go in a different direction when he fills the Pistons’ head coach position.
Despite what you might be reading elsewhere on-line today, concerning the fantastic job which Pat Riley has done this season, as “The Emperor” of the Miami Heat:
Riley had to share the NBA’s Executive of the Year award with Chicago’s Gar Forman, and it’s hard to believe he lost an outright claim to the award on much beyond jealousy and spite. Just give the Bulls one of the Heat’s stars with Rose – James, Wade or even Chris Bosh over Boozer – and you’d probably be fitting them for rings this spring.
Chicago lost out on the three of them, and blew the $75 million on Boozer who seems to shrink with every challenge here. Everything’s played out in a way that’s justified the Heat’s choices.
Riley and Forman shared 11 first-place votes, but three former NBA executives of the year say they voted for Riley. As one says, “It should’ve been unanimous. I’m not close with Pat, but I’m embarrassed how that went.”
As the Heat moved within three victories of the NBA Finals with the series returning to Miami, the sight of Pat Riley standing with his wife, his assistant GM and team owner Micky Arison spoke to the undeniable truth of these modern Miami Heat: For all the talk about Wade as the lead recruiter, the most important selling point of the Heat is that Riley lords over them. That franchise is relevant because of his presence, his stature in the game. Wade sold a partnership to James and Bosh, but Riley engaged everyone in the kind of bigger, broader vision that only he can.
there should be no doubt, whatsoever, that Gar Forman did, in fact, deserve his share of this year’s NBA Executive Of The Year Award, as the principal architect of the resurgent Chicago Bulls with a current player roster that looks like this:
Derrick Rose, PG [No. 1 Selection 2008 NBA Draft *]
Keith Bogans, OG [signed as UFA last off season *]
Luol Deng, SF [re-signed as RFA July 2008 *]
Carlos Boozer, PF [signed as UFA last off season *]
Joakim Noah, C [No. 9 Selection, 2007 NBA Draft]
CJ Watson, PG [obtained, via trade, last off season *]
Kyle Korver, OG [signed as UFA last off season *]
Ronnie Brewer, SF [signed as UFA last off season *]
Taj Gibson, PF [No. 26 Selection, 2009 NBA Draft *]
Omer Asik, C [signed as UFA last off season *]
Rasual Butler, G/F [signed as UFA this season *]
Kurt Thomas, PF/C [signed as UFA last off season *]
John Lucas, PG [signed as UFA this season *]
Jannero Pargo, PG/OG [signed as UFA this season *]
Brian Scalabrine, PF/C [signed as UFA last off season *]
Tom Thibodeau [hired last off season *]
[Note: * - First-rate personnel moves made by Chicago the last 3 seasons.]
Based strictly on the facts …
An authentic ranking of the GM’s in the NBA today, should look like the following:
TOP NOTCH 
RC Buford [San Antonio Spurs, past NBA Champs]
Mitch Kupchak [LA Lakers, past NBA Champs]
Joe Dumars [Detroit Pistons, past NBA Champs]
Danny Ainge [Boston Celtics, past NBA Champs]
Pat Riley [Miami Heat, past NBA Champs; New York Knicks, past NBA Finalists]
ABOVE AVERAGE 
Kevin O’Connor [Utah Jazz, past NBA Finalists]
Donnie Nelson [Dallas Mavericks, past NBA Finalists]
Otis Smith [Orlando Magic, past NBA Finalists]
Donnie Walsh [New York Knicks; Indiana Pacers, past NBA Finalists]
Gar Forman [Chicago Bulls, up-and-comers]
Sam Presti [Oklahoma City Thunder, up-and-comers]
AVERAGE-to-Below Average 
Yesterday, there was a ’roundtable’ of sorts held at Dan Feldman’s Pistonpowered.com.
This is a comment which was submitted by “Laser” [at 9:39 PM]:
but you can’t “get all that.” 1) this team proves on a nightly basis that the whole is not necessarily the sum of its parts when it comes to individual talent. when all your talent plays the same positions, it’s impossible to maximize what you’ve got on the roster. individually, the pistons are talented; i like most everyone on the roster. collectively, they STINK. and they’re not going to suddenly take significant strides just because they’re better individually than they are together. 2) i still need an example or two of these “smart” moves that are going to improve the team if i’m to take you at all seriously. what deals can you swing for gordon/charlie/max/rip that’s going to fix anything? i count none.
which prompted thoughts of exactly how the Pistons could begin to extricate themselves from their current mess.
Smart Move #1
Hire a new head coach with a championship-winning pedigree – e.g. Bill Laimbeer, Michael Cooper, Mario Elie, etc. – and a defense-1st persona.
When a NBA team under-achieves collectively … like the Pistons have for the last 3 seasons … despite having a number of players on its roster with solid-but-not-close-to-great “talent”, it is primarily the fault of the head coach and his staff.
Smart Move #2
Trade Charlie V. Period. Bigs who play like Charlie V. are not useful to a team that has traditionally prided itself on defense, rebounding, toughness and teamwork.
Smart Move #3
Re-establish Jason Maxiell as a rotational Big off the bench, in place of Charlie V.
Smart Move #4
Implement a strictly 3-guard rotation at the PG and OG positions with: i. Rodney Stuckey [Starting PG], ii. Richard Hamilton [Starting OG], and iii. Ben Gordon [Back-up Combo Guard]. This will improve Team Cohesion for the Pistons which has been sorely lacking for the last 2+ seasons.
Smart Move #5
Once Richard Hamilton is re-established as the Pistons Starting OG, for an extended period of time, working under the direction of a new head coach, then, if necessary, trade him to a contending team, in a three-team transaction that looks like this:
To Detroit: BJ Mullens [C], James Posey [SF] and Brandon Rush [OG]
To Oklahoma City: Lance Stephenson [OG/PG]
To Indiana: Richard Hamilton [OG]
Although the Pistons are nowhere close to being a championship-winning team just yet, there is no reason whatsoever for their franchise to even “think about” dismissing a GM with the list of accomplishments that Joe Dumars has accrued over the course of his career.
There is more than enough talent on the Pistons current roster to compete effectively for a mid-lower tier playoff position next season, while Joe D. continues the re-tooling process, if he can find a head coach who is a “good fit” with the players on his roster AND make a series of “smart personnel moves” during the next 12 months:
Bill Laimbeer, Michael Cooper, Mario Elie, etc.
- Player obtained with the 2011 1st Round Draft Pick
- Player obtained in trade for Charlie V.
once the team is sold this spring/summer.
In the summer of 2009 yours truly made the observation that the 2008-2009 version of the Detroit Pistons had an on-going “internal” problem with their former head coach, Michael Curry, and the team’s core group of players who had been with Detroit during the successful run of the previous decade.
Essentially, this is what was said:
1. The Pistons had been unsuccessful, in large part … not because they had only “average-to-below-average” players on their roster, but … because the “average-to-above-average” players on their team had not been used appropriately by their head coach and such problems with their regular “rotation” would continue to be the primary cause of their failure, if the right head coach was not brought in by Joe Dumars/GM to address the situation moving forward.
2. Clear “Role Delineation” is a key component of a successful basketball coach’s job.
3. Fostering “Team Cohesion” is a key component of “Role Delineation” for a successful basketball coach.
4. An elite level basketball team that has several players who work best at the same position with a similar set of strengths and weaknesses needs to have their “individual roles” identified clearly by the head coach, in a way which establishes a clear hierarchy and allows their “best” players to receive the most playing time, on a consistent basis.
5. One way … of many different alternatives … to accomplish this type of “regular rotation” for the 2009-2010 Detroit Pistons, given their collection of Point Guards, Off Guards, Combo Guards, Guard-Forwards, Small Forwards and Combo Forwards would be to implement:
i. An exclusive 3-player rotation at the Point Guard and Off Guard positions;
in concert with,
ii. An exclusive 2-player rotation at the Small Forward position;
that looked something like the following:
PG, Rodney Stuckey
OG, Rip Hamilton
SF, Tayshaun Prince
PG-OG, Ben Gordon
SF, Jonas Jerebko [or Austin Daye]
and, thereby, excluded Will Bynum [PG] – a talented player, in his own right – from the mix on a consistent basis.
This type of regular rotation would have promoted very clear “Role Delineation” amongst the Pistons’ guards and forwards and enhanced “Team Cohesion”.
Unfortunately, instead of doing this …
John Kuester [i.e. new head coach] juggled his players incessantly in the different Point Guard, Off Guard and Small Forward roles;
The problem has only become worse with the inclusion of Tracy McGrady [PG-OG-SF].
Exhibit A - Prince and Kuester have words. Again.
Exhibit B – Pistons aren’t playing hard
Exhibit C - Hamilton at center of Pistons turmoil
Despite what you might have read - either, recently or over the last 2 seasons - from other “so-called” basketball analysts who rely primarily on stat-based metrics like “Wins Produced”, etc., to evaluate the abilities and relative worth of NBA players …
The main problem for the Pistons, since Larry Brown’s departure, as their head coach, has not been rooted in the ”below average” abilities of their players but the “poor fit” between their “best” players and the men Joe Dumars/GM has hired as their next 3 head coaches, i.e. Flip Saunders, Michael Curry and John Kuester.
While these Detroit teams have been short of the sort of overall “talent level” required to compete successfully for a place in the NBA Finals, this is not the main reason they have plummeted down the Eastern Conference standings, since the trade of Chauncey Billups [PG] for Allen Iverson [PG-OG].
In relative terms …
Authentic elite level basketball coaches are a rare commodity.
When a given NBA team fails to hire one of these select individuals to lead their on-court operation, it should really come as no surprise, at all, if the players on their roster are not able to reach their maximum capacity, either, individually or as a collective unit.
Hopefully, Joe D. will be able to solve THIS on-going problem for the Pistons.