Friday, May 12, 2006

Mike D'Antoni

I think the guy is good. Really good. An offensive genius. He's the only guy in the league willing to simply put his 5 best guys on the floor and say, "Let's play ball." Why wouldn't Washington just start Antonio Daniels instead of Brendan Haywood? Haywood is a stiff and everyone knows it. Coaches feel like they are locked into starting guys that fit into the traditional roles of guard, forward and center, despite the fact that Phoenix has won 62 and 54 games the last two seasons basically ignoring those roles. I don't get it.

But in addition to being a really good coach, you just have to love this guy's common sense answers in dealing with the media. A couple of great examples jumped out at me from today's LA Times:

"We've had two [playoff] wins with the exact same stats [for rebounding]. I can almost bet you right now we're going to get out-rebounded next gameā€¦. You know why? Because we're small. And it's not going to change."

"If we're better than the Clippers are, then [we'll win] in the third and fourth game. If not, then they get to go on to the next round because they're better than us."

Is he stating the obvious? Sure. But reporters ask obvious questions all the time, and coaches try to dress up their answers. I much prefer this approach. State the obvious, do it clearly, and don't make excuses.