Friday, May 1, 2009

Is Phil Jackson a Liability for Lakers in the Playoffs?

In my mind I was thinking about what a horrible Coach Don Nelson of the Warriors is.  He is inattentive, old, rich, and coaching a team with no Championship potential.  I thought of some of the younger coaches in the league, guys who are breaking their backs watching film until 3 in the morning, drawing up lots of plays, obsessing over minor details; and know I knew from the look on Don Nelson's face that he wasn't doing any of that.  

And that got me thinking about Coach Phil Jackson.  Now I have nothing against him.  He is more successful as a coach in the NBA than I ever will be at anything.  But when it comes right down to it, Phil Jackson won't be giving the kind of effort his opponents will.  He won't be "slacking off" but he won't be giving max effort.

I think that the kind of effort a coach gives can help with game planning and substitutions; and preparing plays for the ends of close games and out of timeouts.  I don't think Phil's plays will be as sharp as they could be and that could be a major liability in a close game.

Phil is 66 years old.  He has a hurting hip.  He's a legend.  He isn't desperate.  He isn't hungry; he won't work feverishly.  And that could cost his team.  

The game that comes to mind is the 76ers game where Coach Jackson said he thought he made it clear to Trevor Ariza to deny iguodala the three.  Ariza didn't and Iguodala made the game-winning three.  

Now was that Ariza's fault?  Or could it have been Jacksons?  

A hyper-active, energetic, fearful-for-his-job coach would have made damn sure Ariza knew.  But Phil?  Making 10,000,000 a year?  He simply isn't concerned as much.  He can't be.  

The game that comes to mind 

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