Monthly Archives: November 2014

Coach Rank: Week 2 Update

1. Greg Popovich San Antonio Spurs

2. Tom Thibodeau Chicago Bulls

3. Doc Rivers Los Angeles Micro-Softs

4. Rick Carlisle Dallas Mavericks

5. Jeff Hornacek Phoenix Suns

6. Mike Budenholzer Atlanta Hawks– After watching the Hawks in action this week I had coach Bud listed as “maybe up one” for a long time. But even coming off back to back losses, I couldn’t demote Hornacek yet. I need to watch both these coaches a bit more, but Buneholzer is on my “rising stars” list. Its just hard to move up in the top.

7. Kevin McHale Houston Rockets

8. Brad Stevens Boston Celtics

9. Frank Vogel Indiana Pacers– Vogel is another coach who is working very hard to rise up in the rankings. He has delivered wins over Miami and Chicago in the last week, and has a team of castoffs and deep bench players playing very well around his one remaining All-Star. Meanwhile Stevens has the Celtics looking plucky. McHale’s Rockets have floundered after their hot start,  but even with a 69 point victory, its hard to demote a 9-1 coach. I’d consider McHale on notice for a drop, however, and I will be watching the Rockets next week.

10. Terry Stots Portland Trailblazers

11. Jason Kidd Milwaukee Bucks– Third coach in a row where what I have to say is “I’m impressed, but there’s not enough justification yet.” Kidd has the Bucks at 5-5, having just unseated the Heat. Their defense is atrocious and there are un-watchable stretches of mistakes, turnovers, and bad decisions– but the Bucks two best players are both 19 and in their 1st and 2nd years respectively. Kidd has the Bucks moving the ball, moving their bodies when they aren’t, and taking a pretty good shot selection. He’s also figured out that positions be damned Giannis and Jabari both need to be starting very quickly in this season. I’m going to have to watch the Bucks again next week and watch the Blazers to compare the job of the guy ahead of Kidd in these rankings.

12. Dwayne Casey Toronto Raptors

13. Steve Clifford Charlotte Hornets

14. Dave Joerger Memphis Grizzlies

15. Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets– I had Shaw listed as probably down after watching as much of the Nuggets as I could stomach, but the coaches just behind him haven’t been impressing and I didn’t have time to watch the Pistons this week– I will the Nuggets, Nets, and Pistons next week and there will likely be some change in these three’s order. Malone and Kerr are breathing down this clump’s neck though as well as the Kings and Warrior’s have both looked impressive and well coached.

16. Lionel Hollins Brooklyn Nets

17. Stan Van Gundy Detroit Pistons

18. Flip Saunders Minnesota Timberwolves

19. Monty Williams New Orleans Pelicans

20. Michael Malone Sacramento Kings

21. Steve Kerr Golden State Warriors— Rookie coach climb alert. His time under Coaches Jackson and Popavich have served Kerr well– he’s got the Warriors in the top 10 in points scored, points allowed, rebounds, and assists.

22. Scott Brooks Oklahoma City Thunder– The Thunder are almost keeping afloat. Brooks moved up a spot by maintaining the same spot as he outpaced coach Spo on the “bad coach, good team” train.

23. Erik Spoelstra Miami Heat– Far too many of the Heat’s possessions involve four guys standing around at the three point line while a fifth guy dribbles then one of them misses a contested shot. The ball sticks, the players stand, and these aren’t known sharp shooters– Deng has never been an ace three point shooter, Bosh while good for a center has struggled from the line and done his best work when he has gotten inside, and watching Josh McRoberts and his 25% stand out there is just inexcusable. The only time the Heat look good is in transition. Add in Norris Cole falling off far enough to make my original assessment of “can’t develop talent” seems appropriate. For a guy whose supposed to be a video room genius, Spoelstra just hasn’t looked so great when “Hey, you guys are three of the best 10 players in the League, just go do your thing” stopped being a valid coaching strategy.

24. Jacque Vaughn Orlando Magic

25.Brett Brown Philadelphia 76ers

26. Randy Wittmann Washington Wizards

27. Byron Scott Los Angeles Lakers

28. Quinn Snyder Utah Jazz– I liked what I saw from the Jazz. The team is looking plucky. I’m not sure that plucky is enough, but for a team built on average prospects from the lower lottery without a single true star, the Jazz have forged a kind of identity and carved out some wins in the tough West. I think it speaks a lot to Snyder’s future prospects, but I am not sure this roster will serve him very well towards those ends.

29. Derek Fisher New York Knicks

30. David Blatt Cleveland Cavaliers– Their offense is coming together, and the wins are starting to trickle in, but the kind of locker room dissension, and the sinking feeling that Lebron is the player/coach/GM of the Cavs leaves a lot to be desired. He started at the top of the rookies based on Alpha order, but has fallen to the bottom of the league– don’t worry though, I am sure Byron Scott’s despicable coaching job in LA will bring him down here sooner or later, and I have not been impressed by the 76ers or Magic and their coaching strategies, so there may be a raise for the Euro coach soon.


Coach Rank: Week 1 Update

With between 4 and 6 games in the book at the end of the night, it’s time to kick off our first Coach Rank of the regular Season!

Quick reminder of our starting rules. . .

1. Rookie coaches started at the bottom, raked alphabetically– they will have to prove their way up from their and sort out.

2. No points for adequately achieving or under achieving with super talented rosters (the Vinny Del Negro Principle)

3. Having no system on either side of the ball is unacceptable.

4. Rankings are cumulative and incremental. Coaches can move up or down, sometimes even by several spots, but one good/bad week/month doesn’t always override the body of work from the rest of the season and previous years.

Pre-season rankings can be found here:


1. Greg Popovich San Antonio Spurs — To lose the spot Pop is going to have to, you know, do something bad.

2. Tom Thibodeau Chicago Bulls

3. Doc Rivers Los Angeles Micro-Softs

Our first spot swap of the season! There’s no shame in losing to Boogie and the Kings or to Golden State. This swap is based on the incredible degree of difficulty for what Thibs has Chicago doing right now.

To tick off the accomplishments– 1. 5-1 record with the one loss being in overtime to Lebron, 2. A rotation that includes four new additions, 3. Missing at least one starter in every game, 4. Took one of the worst offensive teams from last year, reinvented the offense around a combination of post play, ball motion and cuts, and three point shots that is averaging over 100 per game.

That said, the Bulls defense and rebounding have slipped, so if those trends continue, Thibs could start to slip in these rankings.

4. Rick Carlisle Dallas Mavericks– holding steady, Carlisle reincorporated Tyson Chandler and folded in Chandler Parsons who has joined Monta at 17 points per game to round out a big three with Dirk.

5. Jeff Hornacek Phoenix Suns– Hornacek has folded in Isiah Thomas pretty well to make that three guard set work.

6. Mike Budenholzer Atlanta Hawks– the Hawks woes aren’t all Budenholzer’s fault, their three losses are all to playoff teams from last year.

7. Kevin McHale Houston Rockets– has the Rockets singing with some addition by subtraction in letting Parsons and Lin walk. Keeping post contract Ariza engaged and transforming a poor defensive team from last year into the second best in the league (for now) have McHale on the biggest jump here. (11 last week).

8. Brad Stevens Boston Celtics– the Celtics are reinventing into a Spurs style offense, and are looking good on that end, if abysmal on the other.

9. Frank Vogel Indiana Pacers– the Captain of a sinking ship this year; how engaged the Pacers stay as the losses mount will say a lot.

10. Terry Stots Portland Trailblazers

11. Jason Kidd Milwaukee Bucks– going to need to watch the Bucks more closely to see what’s going on here, Kidd has most slipped due to other’s good work and it will take time to evaluate his performance with this young roster.

12. Dwayne Casey Toronto Raptors

13. Steve Clifford Charlotte Hornets

14. Dave Joerger Memphis Grizzlies– The Grizzlies are looking dominant this year as well, and Joeger has them determined not to start off poorly as they did due to injuries last year.

15. Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets

16. Lionel Hollins Brooklyn Nets

17. Stan Van Gundy Detroit Pistons

18. Flip Saunders Minnesota Timberwolves

19. Monty Williams New Orleans Pelicans

20. Michael Malone Sacramento Kings

Williams and Malone both had some proving to do coming into this season. The Kings are off to a hot start, and Malone has the team working through their talented big man Cousins and improving despite losing Thomas. Williams’ Pelicans are putting out maximum effort right now, and new acquisition Omir Asik has looked to be a dominant pairing with Anthony Davis on the glass. Bother will bear closer watching as the season goes on.

21. Erik Spoelstra Miami Heat– I have to admit that losing Lebron and still coming out strong, reinvented around different pieces and the development of Norris Cole into a legitimate NBA player has me rethinking my stance on Spoelstra. Will need to see more for me to permanently flip on him though– after all, had Spoelstra been able to develop any of the late first round picks he had over the past four years, Lebron may have seen the possibility of getting past ‘Not two. . . ‘ in Miami instead of bolting for younger supporting players.

22. Scott Brooks Oklahoma City Thunder

23. Jacque Vaughn Orlando Magic

24.Brett Brown Philadelphia 76ers

25. Randy Wittmann Washington Wizards

26. Byron Scott Los Angeles Lakers– It is rapidly beginning to look like Scott was hired because he was a poor choice for a coach. No one expected the Lakers to win, but Scott’s attitudes towards the modern game shows he may be stuck in the past.

26. Steve Kerr Golden State Warriors

28. Derek Fisher New York Knicks

29. Quinn Snyder Utah Jazz

30. David Blatt Cleveland Cavaliers– the Cavs are going to figure things out eventually, but a 1-3 start with the team ranking in the bottom third of the league in basically every category (19th in points scored, 23rd in points allowed, 22nd in rebounds, and 30th in assists) despite having a four time MVP and two more All-Stars has Blatt as not only the worst of the rookies, but the worst in the league right now.