Nov 13, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT
The system coaches used to be the minority, it is among the reasons opposing coaches marveled all those years at Jerry Sloan, how his teams did one thing well and did it over and over and over, even after Stockton and Malone left the building.
The rest? They mostly adjusted.
Oh, Phil Jackson was wedded early to the triangle and Doug Moe had his teams pushing the pace long before there were seven seconds or less.
But it used to be that coaches coached to their personnel.
In Los Angeles, Pat Riley was Showtime. In New York, he was slow time.
Now? Now it’s almost as if teams are hiring the system as much as the coach.
The Lakers, for example, opted for seven-seconds or less over the triangle. That had to be the reason, right? Because it would be difficult to find many other reasons to go, especially in their situation, with Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson.
The Heat, of course, are now space and pace, although that has as much to do with Erik Spoelstra attempting to maximize his Big Three as being wed to a style.
The Knicks are now iso-Melo after Mike Woodson spent all those years with iso-Joe in Atlanta.
Coaches, of course, have long had their preferences, often scoffing at the gimmicks of others, in their private moments insisting that such styles will never win in the playoffs.
It used to be that a coach would adjust his game plan to his personnel, as opposed to Mike Brown’s ill-fated attempt to foist Eddie Jordan’s spin on the Princeton offense on Kobe & Co.
And Kurt Rambis’ insistence on the triangle in Minnesota hardly earned him any favor with the Timberwolves.
For the most part it is pick-and-roll, after the NBA emerged from its period of motion offense.
Mostly, it is whatever works with whomever happens to be working with the ball at the moment.
Perhaps with D’Antoni’s style, the Lakers finally have their post-Phil fit.
But it’s just odd in what widely is recognized as a players’ league that coaches still insist on trying to make the square pegs fit into their round holes.
- LeBron James: “(The Bulls) are a team that’s much better than us right now just off chemistry” 32
- Has Kobe Bryant cost the Lakers Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and others? 64
- Five favorites to win NBA 2014-15 MVP 18
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 preview: San Antonio Spurs 7
- NBA’s 44-minute game clocks in at under 2 hours, players barely notice (VIDEO) 2
- Nets coach Hollins on 44-minute game: ‘The change will be for the guys who don’t start’ 11
- Spurs’ Gregg Popovich fires back at Suns owner’s apology: ‘I’m just surprised he didn’t do it in a chicken suit’ 8
- Blake Griffin goes after Trevor Booker following flagrant foul, says he may retaliate in the future (VIDEO) 31