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[Chicago Tribune] Van Gundy bad for Rockets, Yao

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by macfan, May 9, 2005.

  1. macfan

    macfan Contributing Member

    Mar 12, 2005
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    This is the second call in two days for Jackson to become the Rockets coach. Yesterday on the pregame show on ABC, Bill Walton said in his usual exaggerated way that Van Gundy is not a good coach and Jackson should be the next Rockets coach. "Snapper" Jones didn't say anything to disagree. I am a big Van Gundy fan, but I didn't think he managed players minutes very well. This series should have been over if T-Mac didn't have a 48 minute defensive assignment on Games 3 and 4. Yao's involvement in the offense and the schemes designed were a little lacking. I am right in the middle on this issue. I think JVG is a very disciplined coach, but he lacks a little creativity in offense. That being said, a year of familiarity in his system for Yao and T-Mac should bode better for next season.
    http://chicagosports.chicagotribune...5897167.column?page=2&coll=cs-sports-printVan Gundy bad for Rockets, Yao

    May 9, 2005

    There is one underachieving NBA team with two superstar talents and an overbearing coach.

    That is the true Phil Jackson formula for a return to coaching--and nowhere fits better than Houston.

    (Granted, if I'm Jackson, I'm not sure I would want to exchange my potential $10 million salary and beachfront home for southeast Texas.)

    But the Rockets' embarrassing collapse in Game 7 against Dallas on Saturday, their second straight first-round playoff elimination under Jeff Van Gundy, provides the best option for a great coach like Jackson to make a difference and quickly develop a champion.

    Van Gundy has two years left on his contract at $5 million per season, so no one expects the Rockets to make a change.

    But perhaps NBA Commissioner David Stern will help them.

    Van Gundy still has to explain to Stern just who told him the league was conspiring against Yao Ming and why Van Gundy suggested games were manipulated.

    (Let me get this straight: Stern wants to help Mavericks owner and league basher Mark Cuban, whom Van Gundy said alerted the NBA to the moving screen tactic? The commissioner wants to hurt Yao, arguably the world's most popular player, when the NBA is trying to extend its popularity into Asia? That's the NBA plan?)

    In Van Gundy's defense, I don't believe that's what happened. He has seen coaches like his mentor, Pat Riley, and Jackson try to manipulate the message in the media during the playoffs. That's all Van Gundy was trying to do when he said referees were told to watch Yao's moving screen.

    Van Gundy just wasn't as savvy or subtle as Jackson, Riley and some others. This is the same guy who mocked Jackson's Native American work, calling him Big Chief Triangle. Jackson long has worked with Native American schools and camps to help poor kids and communities. Van Gundy crudely labeled Michael Jordan a "con man" for the way he tried to help other players. It's all cynical and self-centered.

    Remember that NBA officials aren't part-time insurance men, like in football. They're not Jenny Craig dropouts, like in baseball. They're graded as the toughest in any sport. Analysts pass judgment on every call during the playoffs. Consistently poor calls result in fewer assignments and none in the playoffs. That's why it's embarrassing to blame the referees.

    Congratulations to coaches like Scott Skiles and Avery Johnson, who don't do that. They put the responsibility on their teams. Coaches like Van Gundy prefer to blame others. My guess is Stern finally got tired of all of it, from Doc Rivers' complaints about Reggie Miller to George Karl's ravings about Manu Ginobili. No one truly believed the NBA fixed games or was smart enough to figure out how. With his fine, Stern said: "No more!" He should have made the fine $1 million. That would end the nonsense that includes avoiding blame, enraging fans and soiling the reputations of officials.

    Meantime, Van Gundy has become the league's most overrated coach and, worse yet, one ultimately bad for the game.

    Coaches like Van Gundy ruin the game, slowing it with constant play-calling while trying to make themselves more important than the sport. They prowl the sideline, calling endless plays until the players eventually give up, like the Rockets did Saturday. Of course, Van Gundy blamed them. "In the biggest game of the year, to crack like that is disappointing," Van Gundy said.

    Instead, it's Van Gundy who gets Yao in foul trouble. Yao didn't have that trouble when he came to Houston under Rudy Tomjanovich, and you don't see other less-than-fleet big men running into such problems. That's because Van Gundy doesn't play Yao correctly.

    In theory, what Van Gundy is doing is proper. He asks Yao to move more, to come high and set screens more, to chase on defense and roll on offense. It's just that Yao isn't capable. A great coach considers a player's limitations and puts him in position to succeed. Van Gundy has ignored that, and then wants to blame the referees.

    When Yao came to Chicago for that big predraft workout for all NBA executives, personnel guru Jerry West noted that Yao was slow and would have trouble with lateral movement--sort of like Shaquille O'Neal.

    O'Neal's coaches mostly let him sit back in the pick-and-roll and don't make him screen all the time or chase. They save him for what he can do best.

    Not professor Van Gundy. Yao is too loyal and committed to challenge his coach. So he runs into early foul trouble. Plus, Van Gundy is notorious for changing almost from game to game how his team defends the pick-and-roll. That can't help a player like Yao. It also might be one reason--duh?--why Yao often runs out of energy late in games.

    Yao needs someone like Jackson, who understands big men and would teach an offense that benefits someone with Yao's skills.

    You have to feel sorry for Tracy McGrady, who finally is playing like Jordan in his early years. McGrady is great but in need of help, the kind of help Jackson provided for O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in 2000.

    The Rockets job could wind up being open. Stern could suspend Van Gundy without pay for a year if he doesn't cooperate in the league's investigation. Who does Van Gundy think he is, Woodward and Bernstein? This isn't about national security and a reporter's right to First Amendment protections. Van Gundy, by extension, works for the NBA. He would be declining to tell the truth to his employer. Employees are fired for that and should be. The Rockets may be in need of a coach quicker than many expected.
  2. fya

    fya Member

    Oct 18, 2002
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    I wouldn't mind seeing PJ here, but I still don't think JVG is going anywhere.
  3. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

    Jun 18, 2002
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    When I saw the headline of this Post I knew the byline had to be clueless Smith. This is the guy who writes the same idiocy some of us Post, or worse.

    Disregard anything this hack spittles into his word processor.
  4. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

    Jul 7, 1999
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    This article is biased filth. I hope it's locked. Absolutely he's not perfect, but he's a very good coach.
  5. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

    Sep 19, 1999
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    ridiculous. we took a much deeper team to 7 games. the players bought into JVG big time. we were not as talented as the mavs..and nowhere near as deep. we fumbled balls out of bounds when we had great opportunities. we didn't execute down the stretch of tight games here in Houston. we got beat. i can live with that.

    we'll be back next season. WITH JVG.

    P.S. people in chicago hate hate hate JVG. they have for quite a while now. it's why Greeney on Mike and Mike can't speak objectively about him. and it's why trash like this gets published in the Chicago Tribune. you will not get objective opinions on JVG out of Chicago.
  6. fa7999

    fa7999 Member

    Dec 19, 2002
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    JVG is a very good coach, but I always think that PJ will do wonders with Yao/TMac.
  7. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Avery? How did he react after game one again? :rolleyes:
  8. bu2002

    bu2002 Contributing Member

    May 19, 2002
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    Phil Jackson would be nice, although i had always been kind of curious with MJ and Kobe why he never ran alot of basic two man game, especially with the lakers. Whenever the lakers ran screen and roll with kobe and shaq, they were unstoppable.

    But the rockets fit the profile of a team jackson would take over. A budding superstar with a very good "Robin" on a team that needs to elevate from good team to great team.
  9. BiGGieStuFF

    BiGGieStuFF Contributing Member

    May 20, 2002
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    JVG is a great coach. All the players on our team can't say enough about his smarts and preparation. He maximized our talents. If any JVG will lay the groundwork for PJ to come in and steal the glory.

    JVG has gotten this team technically and strategically prepared for most games. He'll lay down the basketball IQ, and PJ if he comes would probably just build on top of that.

    IF PJ were to come and we won a championship, I would credit both JVG and PJ for that.
  10. KeepKenny

    KeepKenny Contributing Member

    May 31, 2000
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    So now we're the league's most underachieving team? One day these guys say that Yao is not good enough. The next day the coach is not good enough because we lost with 'two great players'. Never mind the fact that we are so old and slow everywhere else. Make up your mind, hacks. Is Yao the problem, or JVG?
  11. liujun0768

    liujun0768 Member

    Nov 26, 2002
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    i love jvg!
  12. Xerobull

    Xerobull You son of a b!tch! I'm in!

    Jun 18, 2003
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    Ah, so now the Rox are next on Phil's Cherry-Pick radar?

    JVG is our man- I was a skeptic and a hater when we were losing early in the season, I will admit that. But I have seen the fruits of his labor, and they are good. A bit more maturity from Yao and Tracy, and we will be unstoppable.

    I would like to see how Jackson would do with a down-and-out team like the Knicks. He has the pieces there to make it into a playoff-calibur team, but it's not primed and ready for him to step in and take the glory like the Bulls and Lakers were.

  13. wrath_of_khan

    wrath_of_khan Contributing Member

    Jun 7, 2000
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    I am so sick of hearing this written about JVG by writers who obviously haven't seen a single Rockets game in the past few months!

    If you haven't watched the team, don't write about them!!!!

  14. GoatBoy

    GoatBoy Member

    May 17, 2002
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    FPJ. That's all I have to say about this.
  15. JBIIRockets

    JBIIRockets Contributing Member

    Jan 25, 2001
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    I like JVG. And would be fine if he stayed.

    But If we hired Phil Jackson, my optimism would rise even more.
  16. Will

    Will Clutch Crew
    Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 1999
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    LOL. Bingo.

    Methinks Mr. Smith doth fulminate too much. When I see this much venom, it looks to me like an agenda in search of an argument.
  17. Willis25

    Willis25 Contributing Member

    Oct 22, 2002
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    I like JVG - but it is easy for the media to now to second guess his "play calling" after game 7

    I mean - wasn't he the one the said play your game and do what you do best

    tmac and Yao should have run pick and roll every single play (a la Stocken and Malone)
  18. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

    Jan 24, 2002
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    You have to have an adequate roster to make adjustments. If Van Gundy were coaching the Mavs and AJ the Rockets, how would the series have gone--- over in 5 games maybe?
  19. zaam

    zaam Contributing Member

    Aug 29, 2001
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    JVG is not perfect, but to take a team that has a total of ONE meaningful player (no offense to Spoon and Padgett) that was here last year, overcome key injuries, chalk up 51 wins, and to take Dallas Ñ arguably one of the deepest teams in the league Ñ to 7 games in the first round is NOT underachieving.

    Moron. This clown needs a new day job.
  20. real_egal

    real_egal Contributing Member

    Nov 20, 2003
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    I always despise bandwagoners and people without their own opinions. When other are hyped, they just rush to join the parade and praise and pamper; if someone is down, they just jump on and stomp on others with those lame "I told you so". What's their base? Their own analysis or thoughts? No, just someone powerful or famous says something, they will be the followers and advocators. The writer of this article is exactly that kind of person, nothing more and nothing less. Maybe I should not be upset, coz that's the way the media works, and that's way our society works right now.

    But I have more problem with bunch of ignorant and stupid people pretend to be experts. Of course JVG realizes that covering pick and roll, premieter tire out Yao fast, but what other choices does he have? None of us want to see that, but when your premieter defender can't out quick the opponents, your big men have to rotate to help. We are short handed, that's why everyone is over-working, including TMac and Yao. We are short-handed, and that's JVG's adjustment. This moron has no idea what he's talking about. Why do I even bother?!

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