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Why McHale is a very good coach

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by jtr, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. jtr

    jtr Contributing Member

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    I would place McHale solidly among the top ten head coaches of current NBA franchises. And here are the reasons why:

    With the exception of Lowry, the Rockets roster has always seemed happy and content (and Lowry was obviously a head case that has been a pain in the butt to the Raptors). Having a team where all of the players are content and working towards the same goal is by far and away the most important job of the head coach. Even Asik, who has other reasons to be dissatisfied, is now playing his heart out in games. McHale came to Houston being known for his team first attitude and seems to be working very well with the FO (Morey) and the players. This aspect of McHale cannot be over valued.

    None of the Rockets teams under McHale have under preformed. Two seasons ago McHale took about the same lineup as Adelman had the previous season and almost made the playoffs minus his two injured starting guards, with a winning record comparable to Adelman's. Last season McHale and his staff were roiled with constant changes to the youngest NBA roster and managed to make the playoffs. This season McHale has the Rockets at 13-5, despite the required TT experiment to see if the FO actually had to trade Asik. They just beat perhaps the best team in the NBA on their home court and are sporting a 13-5 record. And a five game win streak. Each game the rotations on the floor are looking crisper, and we may be witnessing the early stage formation of a NBA juggernaut.

    McHale seems to be a master of tailoring game strategies to the strengths of his players. The two starting guards are down with injuries? Find a way. Need a new offense because the team just acquired the best SG in the NBA? No problem. R&R and lets work on it. Just lost both of your rotation power forwards in the middle of the season? Just roll with it, everything will be OK. Just acquired the best center in basketball? Implement a post game immediately.

    McHale works extremely well with Morey. Adelman was shown the door because he could not. Working with Morey is critical since he is one of the best minds in NBA basketball today. I am very comfortable with every decision McHale makes because I am certain that he has discussed it with Morey. How am I sure? Because McHale would be gone in a heartbeat if he did not.

    One of the basic tenants of advanced analytics is the notion that mid ranged shots are bad. Horrible. Terrible. Unconscionable. McHale has done a far better job than any other coach in the league getting his players not to take mid-ranged shots. Here are the team mid-ranged shot percentages from last season.

    [​IMG]

    NBA coaches like to believe that they are actually important when the team is out on the floor. A comprehensive MIT Sloan study showed that they really are not. McHale's players always seem prepared and motivated. That is the essence of a head coaches job. Prep the players well because when they are out there on the floor the head coach is not.

    People bi*** about McHales play calling. X's and O's. I have to argue that play calling during timeouts is one of the least important aspects of a head coaches job. Significant evidence supports the tenant that calling a timeout negatively impacts team scoring. The only possible conclusion is that defenses benefit more from a timeout than offenses.

    [​IMG]

    Last and possibly least, McHale is a great face of the franchise. Consensus top 50 NBA player, dignified, articulate, physically imposing (when McHale confronted Pop in the Spurs game I had evil visions of McHale taking both arms and smashing Pop 5 inches deep into the concrete), and all in all an up front likable guy.

    Comparisons to other NBA coaches? Spurs - Pop has had over a decade to install his system and it functions almost flawlessly, except when they lose on their home court to the Rockets. Heat - how easy is it to coach perhaps the greatest NBA player ever and two side kick all stars? Wolves - it just seems like to me that a coach with the best PF in basketball, a top ten SG lighting it up and a Rondo lite PG that he should be doing better. Rivers - the team is realistically functioning no better than last season under a sad sack coach.

    I am really really tired of the fire McHale talk on CF.
     
    #1 jtr, Dec 1, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
    12 people like this.
  2. anchel

    anchel Member

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    Good post. He certainly has very important virtues as a coach. You have named them. To be an elite coach, he lacks experience, and his teams lack tactical resources. Just to be fair.

    He has a lot of work ahead until we can say that he has implemented an effective post game, right now, the play with Dwight Howard is certainly very improvable. We are not really exploiting his strenghts. Positionating of the rest of the team has to improve a lot, timing in all senses has to improve a lot. When we had Yao (and no, we didn't have an strecht PF neither), we played much better with him. We used him even two times on a same possesion. Like Adelman used to say, put the ball inside, then out, move the defense, then again inside. Rockets are just throwing the ball to him and basically doing nothing else, bad timing at cuts, I'd say also unappropiate posicionating... To say " implementing a post game", you need work as a team.

    Anyway, I absolutely agree that he has surpassed expectations. He has implemented a very effective offensive style and obviously he's achieving team chemistry and respect at the same time. He's a very smart dude, he's brave when he has to be; he is fast changing his thoughts and reacting during the game and off the game; he's fair with his players... And more.

    Just wanted to point that fact. As good as he and the Rockets are, his team has a lot of work to do in order to rspond better against elite defense, at difficult moments. Some of that is related with players experience; some of that is coaching. Starting for instance with a better interaction with Dwight. We definitely have to take more advantage of him.

    Other than that, he also has a lot to thank to Mr. Morey.
     
  3. iconoclastic

    iconoclastic Member

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    Post this in the Fire McHale thread. No need to make another thread.
     
  4. GanjaRocket

    GanjaRocket Member

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    yup hes getting results right now and as long as he keeps getting results..
     
  5. Codman

    Codman Contributing Member

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    I read the first sentence and my eye started twitching. Give me a few minutes to back up and read it, but I'm already shocked by the beginning statement. Top 10? Hold up...
     
  6. GanjaRocket

    GanjaRocket Member

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    i think coach appreciation is needed.. good thread
     
  7. Panda23

    Panda23 Member

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    Yep. Lowry seems to have been an issue everywhere. Can't blame Mchale for that.
     
  8. GanjaRocket

    GanjaRocket Member

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    yea idk about that but the players we have are great so it elevates the coach too
     
  9. newAge_Rockets

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    Another wannabe moderator. I would not have driven through the clutter of internet fights on the Fire McHale thread, so I'm very happy jtr let this be a new one.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Hilarious

    Hilarious Member

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    Generally I'm with you on this one, with one exception. McHale failed to get Harden to play defense for the most part till now. He sometimes does and we win effortless or win against the top teams in the league but when he doesn't we really face an uphill battle. If he somehow gets him to do it on most nights, we have one of the best chances to win it all.
     
  11. Chris Jent MVP

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    Clutchfan's treatment of Kevin McHale
     
  12. jtr

    jtr Contributing Member

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    I initially wrote it as a post in the fire McHale thread, but I decided to not support such a stupid conversation with my ideas.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. mazinger

    mazinger Member

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    New York, *cough* Nyets*cough* Memphis* cough* 2011-2012 Lakers *cough*
     
  14. bongman

    bongman Member

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    So if players play well, it's because they do and if players don't play we'll, it's the coaches fault? Why is it difficult to at least consider that he maybe why our players are playing great ? THat he uses their strengths to put them in positions to help the team in a positive way?

    Very hard to understand why he doesn't get some credit for those.
     
  15. Patterned919

    Patterned919 Member

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    I believe in McHale. I think we can contend for a title and with McHale as the coach.
     
  16. MIAGI99

    MIAGI99 Member

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    We don't need proof he fails not only as a coach, you can ask Minny about that. We'll see how the season ends but he has already handled a few situations wrong pertaining to the roster especially and who gets minutes. Sampson and Bickerstaff really coach the team I question McHale doing any actual coaching. This is very evident in the interview sessions during games.
     
  17. StevieFlight3

    StevieFlight3 Member

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    Its all Morey. He's the one that orchestrated the trades to net Harden and Dwight. He's the one that decided to play an uptempo style of basketball. There must be some statistical reasons for driving or 3-pointers.
     
  18. CCorn

    CCorn Member

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    McHale is Murray's puppet.
     
  19. Whoopy

    Whoopy Member

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    It's all Morey. We're in a similar situation as the Heat. We have the best SG and Center in the league.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    McHale certainly isn't a bottom 10 coach.

    But lets face it, its ones success or lack of in the playoffs that will decide McHale's legacy.
     

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