David wants to know:
Czar, I am a big Nets fan and a fan of your Czarness on YES. As a former Coach of the Year, can you explain why NBA coaches seem to make maddening and often obvious to basketball fans mistakes in coaching?
With each team and every matchup you are dealing with a unique set of variables that affect coaching decisions. There are, however, some common factors that all coaches must take into consideration when devising a plan of attack. For example, in the NBA every coach has to contend with the 24-second clock. You want to get your players into the positions where they can take advantage of their particular set of skills most effectively. You want to run plays you know will be effective against the best defensive teams in the league because that’s who you will meet in the playoffs. The defenses in the NBA are quite sophisticated and involve many subtleties and changes, which is why so many teams try to push the ball down the court and get a good shot off before their opponents can set up. You have to prepare for all kinds of switching, which many teams do regardless of size mismatches because they feel there’s not enough time for the offense to exploit that imbalance due to the 24-second clock. You must have pressure releases. But ultimately a team’s offense is dictated by the capabilities of the individual players. For example, I don’t think there’s any question that the Nets’ offense will be more productive and that they will win more games as they acquire players with more talent. The key for the Nets now is to make the correct decisions in terms of bringing in the right personnel over the next few years.