1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

The Theory of Combining an Offensive Coach & Defensive Assistant

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by crash5179, May 21, 2016.

  1. crash5179

    crash5179 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2000
    Messages:
    16,442
    Likes Received:
    1,231
    Personally I think this approach in most cases is like plowing the ocean and accomplishes nothing. Basically I just don't see an established coach turning over any control of the team to an assistant. The team gets its personality from its coach. The coach decides whats important to work on in practice and decides the pace of the game.

    You could add both JVG and Tom Thibodeau in here as defensive assistants but if the head coach wants to have a fast paced team and spends 90% of the practices running offensive plays and preaching to the team to rebound and run, your defensive assistant is not going to be effective. To be really good at defense you have to have an organizational commitment that includes lots of practice time working on your defense.

    A lot of defenses work hand in hand with the type of offense you run. A lot of defensive coaches intentionally slow the game down and play a safe style of game on the offensive end to prevent turnovers. This is especially true for the JVG and Tom Thibodeau style of game. While this philosophy is one reason why both coaches always have great defenses I think its another reasons why their teams will always come up short against the better teams.

    The best teams in the NBA either have coaches that are priorities and preach both Offense and Defense. Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are two such teams that can and will beat you on both ends of the court.

    That's not to say that hiring an offensive head coach and a defensive assistant can't work. Its just that if thats the rout you go, the head coach has to be willing to prioritize the defense as much as the offense in practice and the management group has to ensure that the style of defense they bring in meshes well with the style of offense they are running.

    I don't know much about Stephen Silas but I get the feeling he and Lionel Hollins would cooperate well with each other. I don't know how that would translate to wins and losses but I don't see Silas compartmentalizing Hollins and running the team his way or the highway. Instead it sounds like it would be a true partnership in coaching.

    I don't see MDA ever changing the way he coaches or manages game situations. I think you could hire the greatest defensive coach of all time and MDA is still going to run his practices his way, manage the game his way and as a result the team will adopt his personality on the court.

    I guess my point is that you are not going to hire an established NBA coach that is long in the years and expect him to suddenly change the way he coaches regardless of who you surround him with.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. B-Bob

    B-Bob my celli weighs a ton
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    26,599
    Likes Received:
    11,735
    I agree with you overall. I'm not sure there are many (or any?) good examples of taking established head coach X, who has a weakness with aspect Y, pairing with asst coach, and then magic happens and the team is much better at Y.

    Have those two ever worked together? Since Hollins has been a head coach, my worry is that he wouldn't want to take a back seat to a more junior coach.
     
  3. rpr52121

    rpr52121 Sober Fan
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Messages:
    5,086
    Likes Received:
    648
    Well I think the crux of the matter is that all of this, is dependent on the personality and awareness of the coach themselves.

    Many coaches that have had a common "fatal flaw" at many different coaching jobs, often fail to recognize their own weaknesses or downplay their importance.

    However, many long-term successful coaches are fully aware of their weaknesses and biases and either seek out other viewpoints and other experts to help their team. There are a few who figure it out after their first job and implement it at their second job, but even that is hard.

    It all comes down to mentality and self-awareness of the coach to be able to see their own faults and biases, being willing to admit them (at least within the organization), and welcome more of an inclusive coaching staff.

    This is why I would prefer the Rockets give a new person a shot. Most of the retreads like D'antoni have not shown much of an ability to do any of the above.
     
  4. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    17,383
    Likes Received:
    5,560
    I agree with you. We are pioneers.
     
  5. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    7,951
    Likes Received:
    4,070
    I agree with everyone that's agreed so far. ;)
    .......
    .......
    .......
     
  6. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    75,055
    Likes Received:
    67,233
    Good posts; agree

    "We're gonna bring in a top defensive assistant."

    HOGWASH!
     
  7. Jontro

    Jontro Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    26,219
    Likes Received:
    7,691
    I would just like to agree with the act of agreement in this thread.
     
  8. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    22,464
    Likes Received:
    9,387
    Have to say I STRONGLY DISAGREE with everyone who disagrees with OP's premise, which I agree with.
     
  9. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 1999
    Messages:
    57,110
    Likes Received:
    41,411
    50% of the game is played on the defensive end. Unless of course your center cant shoot free throws, then a lot of time is spent watching him shoot.

    So, yes, I agree.
     
  10. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Messages:
    26,201
    Likes Received:
    6,603
    Basketball is not football. The same 5 guys play on both ends without stopping to huddle for the next play. A defensive coordinator in basketball can only do so much. The only possible benefit is the installation of a good defensive system.

    But the head coach is the one who motivate and instill team culture. Also, how you play offense affect how you play defense a lot, and vice versa. So the two sides aren't two separate unrelated aspects of the game.
     
  11. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    Messages:
    46,667
    Likes Received:
    14,273
    I don't know, Easy. Right now, the Rockets are reminding me of the Oilers. Not the Oilers we knew and loved, with Earl running over the opposition, but rather Bud Adams. An owner mucking around with our team.
     
  12. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    75,055
    Likes Received:
    67,233
    "Hell yeah, we worked for a half-hour on it." — Mike D'Antoni

    :grin:
     
  13. OTMax

    OTMax Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Messages:
    8,352
    Likes Received:
    3,669
    This is why Hollins & Silas makes more sense since they will not have this structure! See the new chron article.
     
  14. dmoneybangbang

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    10,302
    Likes Received:
    2,765
    Like how McHale instilled a culture of defense that ranked 18th, 13th, 10th, and 20th in defensive efficiency during the Harden years. The last season was an absolute mess, but was it a trend or an outlier? I think it was an outlier.

    Why wouldn't a defensive assistant be able to instill a good offensive system? I don't think McHale came up with the system that took us from 18th to 10th before embarrassingly falling apart.
     
  15. crash5179

    crash5179 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2000
    Messages:
    16,442
    Likes Received:
    1,231
    Honestly I have no idea if it will work. The fact that the Rockets are looking at them specifically as a package deal makes me think that they are very likely on board with this. But I truly have no idea.

    I have no doubt I'm right about MDA.
     
  16. BleedRocketsRed

    BleedRocketsRed Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    6,972
    Likes Received:
    354
    It's not like D'Antoni had Mike Woodson in NY or Steve Clifford in LA or anything.
     
  17. therox3

    therox3 Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    4
    Have there been any cases of teams successfully using the offensive coach & defensive assistant model? It sounds like it's doomed to fail.
     
  18. JoeBarelyCares

    JoeBarelyCares Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
    Messages:
    6,199
    Likes Received:
    1,044
    That's why you have 2 head coaches - one in charge of offensive and one in charge of defense. Who needs one voice in the locker room when you can have two!
     
  19. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Messages:
    25,203
    Likes Received:
    30,465
    Agreed. Ultimately the team will take on the persona of the HC. The Rockets will not go anywhere unless their star, James Harden, fully buys into the HC's system. I would rather gamble on Silas' high ceiling over MDA's high floor.
     
  20. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Messages:
    26,201
    Likes Received:
    6,603
    Don't make me more depressed, man. :(
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now