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Rudy Tomjanovich

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Firebomb525, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Firebomb525

    Firebomb525 Member

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    I'm a young fan, started seriously watching Houston back when in the Spring of '08, when we were on our way to the 22-game winning streak. I've witnessed the Adelman tenure as well McHale's, which we are in now.

    However, I cannot say I've been blessed to have been able to witness the championship runs (I was born May 25th, a day we won a playoff game in 1994. Y'all are welcome.) I've only got VHS tapes and my brother to recite the tales of Clutch City and Double Clutch to me.

    With the issues at hand, I wanted to ask a simple question: What was Rudy T like as a coach? All I can gather was that he was a player's coach, whom was well-liked by not only his own players but others as well. Could anyone who was lucky enough to be around back then fill me in on how his strategies and tendencies were? Comparisons and contrasts to current or more recent coaches?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. davidghall

    davidghall Member

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    In my opinion, a very good motivator. I think he was above average to good as a coach. Great coach if he had mature players, not enough of a disciplinarian if he had immature players.
     
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  3. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    I was relatively young when they won their first ring (12 years old) but Rudy wasn't afraid to experiment. With players like Herrera, Cassell, Elie, Chucky Brown, Chilcutt, Tabak, Charles Jones, etc. he went through all of them to see who could give him the most out of their minutes. I personally like the way he managed the Kenny Smith / Sam Cassell minutes conundrum in the 2nd championship run. Great times...
     
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  4. RV6

    RV6 Contributing Member

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    Not to take anything away from Rudy...but that group knew how to get down to business.....they had a combination of leaders, prideful guys, and others who knew their role.
     
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  5. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    This too. Rudy wasn't, IMO, a real Xs and Os guys. The inside out offense they ran was pretty much due to the fact that Olajuwon was dominating in all aspects inside and we had shooters.

    I personally think he'd have a hard time with this group because there's not a hardlined voice among the players that tells it like it is, feelings be damned.
     
  6. ima_drummer2k

    ima_drummer2k Contributing Member

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    Definitely a players coach, but I think players were different back then. Those championship teams really had such a team-first mentality that Rudy didn't have to do much to get them going. They all followed Hakeem's lead. "Humble and hungry" is how Rudy used to describe them.

    I would argue that Rudy helped invent the inside/outside game. Surround your HOF post player with guys who can really shoot (and make...) the 3. The end result was either 1) single coverage on Hakeem (i.e. suicide) or 2) wide open 3's.

    When it was working, it couldn't be stopped.
     
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  7. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com
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    He was so good that they created the zone rules because of his tactics. He also got the bunch of college kids, with Brad Miller being the best of them, to win a Bronze medal at the world championships.

    The only thing bad about Rudy was that he would run the same play over and over and over again.
     
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  8. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    What's ironic is that SVG ran the same system in Orlando that got them to the Finals. When you have Howard dominating inside with shooters all around, it can work. Problem is, our 4 spot is a couple of notches below what they had in Rashard Lewis to effectively stretch the defense.
     
  9. SamCassell

    SamCassell Contributing Member

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    Moving Horry to PF was a genius move in the 95 playoffs. Surrounding Hakeem with a bunch of 3 point shooters was a move that was ahead of its time. Rudy got the most out of a lineup in 94 that had a single superstar and a bunch of role players, including one of the worst starting backcourts in the league.

    But Rudy in the post-championship years probably underachieved. Quitten never bought in to Rudy's schemes, and young lottery talent like Franchise and Eddie Griffin failed to mature during the late Rudy years.
     
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  10. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Contributing Member

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    I think Rudy's big strokes of genius were getting his offense-minded players to buy in to defense, and creating an offensive system that maximized his players' abilities by emphasizing Hakeem's interior work and kick-outs for open 3 point shots. He maybe wasn't the best X's and O's coach, but when he found something that worked, he milked it until it didn't work (or the league changed the rules) and then moved on to something else. Definitely a blue-collar guy who was in love with the idea of calling in a CBA player or an over-the-hill vet and letting them contribute, which didn't always work very well, but it gave us some nice moments like Chucky Brown's career.
     
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  11. hooroo

    hooroo Member

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    * Fixed *
     
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  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy 99ers STAND BY
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    His temperament was somewhat comparable to McHale's, except Rudy was more fiery... a Doc Rivers type fire I suppose.

    He wasn't attached to any one scheme on offense. The offense he ran with Hakeem looked nothing like the one he ran with Francis.

    He was good at scouting talent and finding guys that played hard. He had an eye for finding guys that weren't heralded and giving them a purpose. He got his role players to step up and play without fear, something that is very rare.

    Like McHale, every player wanted to play for Rudy but I think Rudy was more respected as a coach. Rudy's staff might have been better.

    Unlike McHale's teams, Rudy's teams always had an identity and purpose. Like McHale, Rudy was open to playing the hot hand and abandoning game plans in favor of emerging in-game trends.
     
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  13. ima_drummer2k

    ima_drummer2k Contributing Member

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    Yeah, it was definitely a 'lightning in a bottle' situation. He was the perfect coach for the Hakeem era Rockets. He implemented a game plan that played to everyone's strengths and everyone totally bought in.

    The only team to figure us out was the Sonics. They would wait until Hakeem made his move to double him and it caused problems. We had to break up the championship team (Barkely trade) just to try and get through Seattle. It worked but then came the utah series. And that was the beginning of the end.

    I don't think he quiet knew what to do with the Francis/Mobley teams.
     
  14. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member

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    I would disagree. He was a very technical coach in many ways. He was the grandfather of "spacing" and positioning players in a way to exploit double teams in the pre-zone era. But his ideas are still employed today as standard practice. He started the 3 ball happy era. And it wasn't just because of Hakeem.

    And on defense, he really knew how to solidify a team defensively. Very good overall coach. His weakness was in dealing with immature guys. He was not a mentor type.
     
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  15. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
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    This... although I wouldn't say he "invented" it. But he definitely used it to the fullness.

    Throw it inside. If they double, kick it back out and pass around the arc until the defensive rotation can't keep up. You'll bound to have an open 3. It's so simple and so effective.

    Ironically, Portland could do the same thing with LMA and four 3pt shooters (not that they needed to do that to beat us so far).
     
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  16. rockets2012

    rockets2012 Member

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    Two rings as coach, and well liked. Enough said.
     
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  17. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    You're right maybe I didn't give Rudy enough credit for the system they ran. Oh how great it was to be a Rockets fan during that era
     
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  18. haoafu

    haoafu Contributing Member

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    Half of Yao's career highlights are from his rookie season under Rudy. I always think Yao would be uniquely developed in all aspects of his game if Rudy was alway around.
     
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  19. ima_drummer2k

    ima_drummer2k Contributing Member

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    And a gold medal as coach in the 2000 Olympics.
     
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