True Hoop had a good interview yesterday with Haralabos Voulgaris, considered a master gambler of the NBA. He's the kind of guy who obviously knows a hell of a lot about the league, otherwise he would have gone under years ago. Anyway, near the end of the interview we get this nugget concerning head coaches in the NBA, couldn't help but share it:
The best coach in the league (and its not even close) is Gregg Popovich. He is without peer in terms of how well he manages a game, as well as prepares his team. It's really not even close, he is just that much better than every other coach in the league. If you are ever unsure of what the correct strategy is in a certain situation, look to the Spurs. If they are doing it, it's probably the right strategy.
There are a lot of coaches who do a poor job with what I call the mathematics of the game, but to be fair, maybe they are better at other aspects of their job like motivation or player development.
However, I have a hard time believing that Doc Rivers could ever make up for his in-game strategy with his ability to motivate or develop players. I would like to have seen how the Celtics would have fared this year if they didn't hire Tom Thibodeau to install a great defensive system. If Popovich is the guy you lean to if you are unsure of what to do, Rivers is certainly the guy you look to if you want to know what NOT to do.