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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Remember, You Win With Players

In the NBA's off-season last year, more attention was paid to Larry Brown's departure from the Detroit Pistons than to the Pistons themselves. New Yorkers hailed the move as a start on the road to redemption for a depleted franchise. Some NBA observers wondered whether the chemistry that brought the Pistons a title a few years back would vanish.

Well, the facts don't lie.

The Knicks are 6-18, with the heralded Larry Brown at the helm.

The Pistons are now 21-3, having dispatched the Spurs by 15 in Auburn Hills today. The coach of the Pistons is Flip Saunders, a good coach who got the T-Wolves to the playoffs eight years in a row and (finally) got them to the Western Conference Finals in 2004. And, while Manu Ginobli missed today's contest, a win over the Spurs is still an impressive feat in and of itself. Meanwhile, if you lose to the Knicks, well, you've had a bad night.

It just goes to show you that while teams change coaches about as frequently as you get an oil change, they probably should be changing General Managers with greater frequency. That has been my hobby horse as of late, because as is demonstrated with Larry Brown in New York, great basketball coaches are, well, human. Okay, so perhaps a lesser coach would have the Knicks with a 3-21 record instead of 6-18, but 6-18 is an awful record by anyone's measuring stick.

Larry Brown or no Larry Brown.

Meanwhile, back in Detroit. . .

The talent is doing just fine.

Larry Brown or no Larry Brown.


Blogger BCSportsFanatic said...

This is especially true for Professional teams. Lakers with Phil Jackson is about the same with Rudy T.

In College though, the Coach makes the biggest difference. Charlie Weis is the difference at Notre Dame.

Although, I would say the greatest coaching accomplishment does go to Larry Brown who took the Clippers to consecutive playoff appearances 91/92 and 92/93.

Won't do it in NY though, Starbury just doesn't get it.

3:22 AM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Famous last words for me now, with the Knicks having won 6 in a row. Is that because the Knicks are suddenly that good, or that the NBA is mediocre enough that even teams that flirt with .500 are due for a run every now and then? I suppose Larry Brown wanted the spotlight of NYC. Interesting, because Detroit looks primed for another deep title run.

7:24 AM  

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