[Chron] McHale likely to follow assistant coach model

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by J.R., Jun 13, 2011.

  1. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Just passing time, kinda sorta :p Lock/merge as needed.

    Rockets coach likely to follow assistant model

    [rquoter]
    ...

    When McHale signed on as Rockets coach last week, his first order of business was to begin interviews with assistant coaches, with one expected to serve in the lead assistant role that has become popular in the NBA.

    "You try to get the right people," McHale said. "The head coach is a guy who has a lot of irons in the fire. Guys who are looking at things just from an offensive standpoint or defensive standpoint, they can spend a lot of time on that and really concentrate on that. That's really important, because there are times that you're going to need someone to just auger in on one thing and help you. I think those models do work.

    "You've seen it done in a lot of ways, but I think the league is trending more toward that model. I do like that model."

    Nothing new here

    The idea of a top assistant running one aspect of the game, usually the defense, has become more common. It is not new.

    When Billy Cunningham took over the 76ers in 1977, one season after the end of his playing career he immediately hired Chuck Daly to draw plays and create game plans and Jack McMahon to help with the players. When Rudy Tomjanovich succeeded Don Chaney, he insisted that Carroll Dawson be with him on the Rockets' bench. McHale's former teammate, Larry Bird, had Rick Carlisle run his Pacers offense, Dick Harter the defense.

    In recent seasons, the Celtics have become the prototype for structuring a staff with a strong lead assistant running one side of the ball. Doc Rivers first gave that authority to Tom Thibodeau and then to Lawrence Frank.

    "It depends on what the head coach wants you to do," Thibodeau said. "Doc wanted me to build the whole defense and put the defense in. Doc and I talked a lot about everything. If he didn't like something, he'd say, 'I don't want to do that,' or if he liked it, he'd tell me, 'Let's run with it.'"

    However, Thibodeau said the "defensive coordinator" concept does not apply to basketball as it does football because the same players must play on both ends. As a lead assistant for Jeff Van Gundy, he was expected to help with every aspect of the game.

    "With Jeff, he thought it was most important to work in all areas, like he had done with Pat Riley and I had with other coaches," Thibodeau said. "On some staffs, a lead assistant is a guy with head coaching experience. It's really about how you work together, share ideas. "

    When Don Nelson coached the Mavericks, he had Avery Johnson run the practices and come up with much of the game-planning. When Johnson succeeded Nelson, he sought experienced head coaches to be with him on the bench, with first Del Harris then Paul Westphal his lead assistants.

    "Now, the head coach has so many responsibilities, it has become more delegating and the head coach not trying to do everything themselves," Johnson said. "A few coaches are really hands-on, handle all the offense, defense, practice, scouting reports, film sessions. But for the most part, coaches are better at delegating. That is growing the role of the lead assistant."

    Westphal said the great increase in information available, from scouting to video to advanced analytics, requires that coaches delegate more to the staff, the model Rockets owner Leslie Alexander endorsed when he announced the selection of McHale.

    "There is so much more information available than there used to be," Westphal, now the Kings' coach, said. "You don't want to miss anything. No one person can absorb it all in its raw form. You need a mechanism to make sure you don't miss it.

    'A real lonely job'

    "Coaching can be a real lonely job. As a coach, you have to have somebody you can bounce things off and that you know has your back no matter what when things get tough. … An assistant you can trust, like a good marriage, can ride out the waves."

    With that in mind, McHale likely will go with the lead assistant model.

    "You're going to have a lot of different things pulling at you," McHale said. "You need guys who are specifically saying, 'Hey, when I went home last night, I looked at every defensive possession, and this is what we need to work on.'

    "I think compartmentalizing the game … helps a great deal. Then those guys take a lot of pride in it, and all of sudden you're giving them a lot of authority to really use that. I just think that's the way to do it. For me, that's the way to go."
    [/rquoter]​
     
    #1 J.R., Jun 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2011
  2. Rockets34Legend

    Rockets34Legend Contributing Member

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    Hehe, love how the black writing blend in with the Dark theme. :)
     
  3. RedDragon01

    RedDragon01 Member

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    Is it just me, or did this editorial really say nothing substantial?
     
  4. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Apologies!!:eek: I was on dark, currently on light now.
     
  5. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew
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    Beats me, cant see any words other than nothing to see here and a lonely job.

    there is a sizable amount of us that use the dark theme, maybe you might want to ensure your posts are readable to all.

    Want me to edit it for you?
     
  6. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Yes, please do so.



    And thank you.
     
  7. topfive

    topfive Contributing Member

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    If Van Gumby had done that, he might still be coaching the Rockets.
     
  8. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    You need guys who are specifically saying, 'Hey, when I went home last night, I looked at every defensive possession, and this is what we need to work on.'

    Translation: I don't want to do all the boring stuff like watching tape.
     
  9. rocketblaze

    rocketblaze Member

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    Did we already hire Finch as an assistant coach? I was not aware of this... :eek:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/2011/06/18/2011-06-18_raptors_take_a_pass_on_landing_knicks_mike_dantoni_opt_for_defensiveminded_dwane.html

    Also... "disharmonious" haha, our locker room doesn't lack harmony...
     
  10. roslolian

    roslolian Member

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  11. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    Disharmonious to me means that sum of your parts is less than their measured value individually. These Rockets don't have that problem; their problem is that the individual parts just don't measure up to other teams right now.

    If I had to think of a disharmonious team, the Knicks would definitely fit the bill more so than the Rockets. Unless...Carmelo Anthony sucked a lot more than we previously thought? Look what the Nuggets did without him.
     
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