Tag Archive: coaching


By: James “JD” Davis don’t forget to Follow me @mrjdsir11

In this age of “Time Out Parenting” and being “Politically Correct” you can’t get your point across the way it takes to make an immediate impact.  Kids/Young adults will easily zone you out.  Sometimes, especially in sports you can’t wait until tomorrow to make your point.  Your teams future, not to mention the coaches job, might depend on YOU tonight.  It kills me when I hear or see people getting upset when a coach puts his hands on a player to get his attention.  I didn’t say HIT! I mean grabbing the helmet, a push, or finger under the chin making them look you in the eye.  Yes, I’m totally old school, but these things I feel are the building blocks to helping your kid become an Adult.  It will probably “Piss you off”, but sometimes you need to be shook up, in a way that words can’t accomplish, to get your head out your ass.  I think coaches should be allowed that leeway as long as it is never abusive.

“I can’t believe he did that”, “I wouldn’t take that” these are some of the words you here from the outraged masses, sometimes I not sure if its the parents or the players that are more effected by coaches putting their hands on players.  In my eyes majority of the time I feel its the parents, because I think the point was made with the player and it resonated.  The people that bitch the most are the ones that probably should/need to be shook, can’t they see or understand they are just trying to instill discipline and focus.  We have to realize that as parents we sign over our kids/young adults to these coaches, not only to teach them the sport, but to help teach them, teamwork, overcoming adversity, respect, and oh yea ACCOUNTABILITY.  If you’re a parent that wants a coach more in the vain of a Tony Dungy and not a Bob Knight then you should do your research and homework for what coaching style better suits your kid.  Everyone should know this is a learning, and growing experience in a competitive environment.

Credit to parents when they understand the difference between abuse and just plain “Look at me while I’m talking to you”.  It’s hard to take criticism period, but especially when your the star or big name player.  You like to think what your doing is right and you always play hard and smart.  What about the days when your “off” or seem unfocused?  That’s when coaching comes into play, and some coaches style is “in your face” now, if you don’t want to hear it then he has to get your attention.  You want to walk away or not look at him, but that is not an option, so yes he grabs your arm to pull you back, maybe he lifts your chin so you make eye contact with him, how about a little push to say “let’s get hyped”.  Don’t cry or act like this is a personal attack on you, Take it like a man!  It’s what’s best for you and the team, don’t turn into deer meat (shout out to Ray “Big Play”) you might be mad but take it out in the game.

Sports can be used to get your kid/young adult ready for life, because life isn’t always nice but you have to go on.  Any real coach/institution will tell you they care more about making the Man, then the Player, and lastly winning.  Sometimes you need to be called out to do your best; it’s not always nice.  I don’t think “time out” children are ready for this, not to mention all the PC people who are offended by everything.  AGAIN I’m not talking about Mike Rice type of ABUSE, let me make that 100% clear.  Just in sports and life the trophies go to the winners.  No participation awards.  So get off the coaches for treating your boys like men.  They’ll be better for it.

Just sayin’

James "JD" Davis @mrjdsir11

James “JD” Davis
@mrjdsir11

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By:  Jason “Big J” Allen @unsportsmenBigJ

“All you need is LeBron, and you can win”; “If I had the big 3 they could coach themselves”; “Man, Spoelstra can’t coach Pat Riley is making him great”.  -Comments from the peanut gallery.  I know some of you reading this have made comments like this or at least very similar.  I’m here to say stop that crazy talk.  Don’t let your hate/love of LeBron overshadow how Great Erik Spoelstra is as a coach.  Yes I just said Great!  I will examine the knocks on Spoelstra and why they are just simply crazy.

Let’s attack the elephant in the room and that is the Big 3 MADE Erik Spoelstra talk.  Yes do Superstars make winning easy?  Yes Sir, ask Rick Adelman how many Championship chances he would have had if not for Shaq/Kobe, MJ/Pippen, Magic, Isiah Thomas.  See a trend here?  The Superstars, or better yet some of the 1, or 2 best players in the game at the time held Adelman back.  Who coached these teams, Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Chuck Daly, all time greats that we don’t knock because they had Greatest Players in the World in their era.  So stop the Big 3 talk, if you exclude the 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons, every team in the last 20-25 years who won titles have had Superstars not a Superstar, but SuperstarS (most had Big 3 of thier own).  We don’t take away from Phil for MJ/Pippen/Rodman, Reily for Magic/Jabar/Worthy, so why do we reduce Spoelstra’s ability for LBJ/Wade/Bosh (and some of you don’t respect Bosh as a Superstar).  We do this because LeBron is not Jordan and Spoelstra is not Phil Jackson type personality.

The first two years before LBJ took his talents to South Beach, and we had the Heatles, Spoelstra won about 56% of his games with one Great and a ton of average players (Michael Beasley, Jermaine O’Neal, Quentin Richardson, and Carlos Arroyo).  I know you look at the 1st rd exits in both years, the Atlanta Hawks I can’t defend, but the next year the Celtics bounced Spoelstra and the Heat.  Give him credit he still got the team above .500 in the East and we know you can make the playoffs with a sub .500 record.  In Spoelstra’s first 2 years as head coach Dwayne Wade had the best years of his career and Wade credited Spoelstra for helping smooth out his shooting form.  Once again you need multiple superstars to make championship runs, but with one superstar Spoelstra continued to keep the Heat above water.

“No rebounding, No Ring” words spoken by Pat Riley, but the Heatles are one of the worse rebounding teams ever.  Why would Pat Riley make a team that went against his philosophy?  Because Pat Riley deferred to Erik Spoelstra to build this two time championship team.  For the last time world please repeat after me “PAT RILEY IS NOT BEHIND THE SCENES COACHING THE HEAT!”  Stop that talk, this is Spoelstra’s team and it shows.  They devalue rebounding and post play.  Say what you will about “Showtime” Lakers, but they were a down low post playing team, don’t believe me see the name Kareem Abdul-Jabar.  Spoelstra’s team is not built that way, he believes in the new wave of the NBA.  Wingman scoring, huge emphasis on the Guards and Small Forward play, with situational defense, and three point shooting.  This is not the Riley way, but the Spoelstra way, because its coached by SPOELSTRA!

Lastly, if you watched the Finals, Spoelstra out coached Popovich in situational moments, and for a good majority of the series.  You want to know why Tony Parker didn’t play down the stretch of Game 6 and 7, because LeBron James wore him down.  A move Spoelstra made, he decided to have LeBron switch onto Tony Parker earlier.  How about the small line up Spoelstra forced Popovich to have to play?  Spoelstra neutralized the Heat’s weakness of rebounding by making the Spurs go small or move their bigs out of the lane to respect shooters.  Also how about the Game 6 decision to let LBJ go “Cleveland” style in the 4th quarter by giving LBJ isolation and a running start from just below half court to attack the basket.  Another great testament to Spoelstra’s coaching is his ability to watch and breakdown tape, so his team will be prepared for the next game.  This NBA Playoffs, anytime the Heat lost a game they won the next game.  Also an interesting stat is outside of these Finals if the Big 3 lost game won in the playoffs they usually went on to sweep the next four games.

So before we give all the credit to LeBron, and Riley.  Before we disregard Spoelstra’s coaching ability.  Before we start wondering if Spoelstra is a Hall of Fame coach.  Let’s just respect what this man has done thus far in his young coaching career.  The Zen Master didn’t have his team do Yogi for 1 ring, but 11.  Pop didn’t lose his hair on his way to 1 ring, but 4.  Riles didn’t keep dying his hair black for 1 ring, but 4.  And Spoels didn’t watch hours of tape, take a LBJ shoulder bump, and a Dwayne Wade cursing out to just win 2 rings, but….

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

So it is easy to look back in hindsight and say what someone should have done, but what the Pacers should have done was win Game 1.  Why??? Not because the Pacers could have taken a 1-0 lead, not because the Pacers get the home court back (they did win Game 2 so they got the home court back), and not to show the Heat who’s boss.  They needed to win Game 1 because they would have had the adjustment advantage for Game 7.

We can all agree that Frank Vogel out coached Erik Spoelstra whole series, but Spoelstra didn’t have to be perfect to win, he just needed to be able to respond to every aggressive chess move that Vogel made.  Vogel had the whole sporting community confused and actually thinking the Pacers were a better team than the Heat.  Ladies and Gentlemen let me assure you that the Heat were and are the better team in this series, but because of the extreme out coaching of Spoelstra, the Pacers looked like a Championship ready team.  Look at the line up man for man:

Starting PG

Hill

Chalmers

Pacers

Starting SG

Stephenson

Wade

Heat

Starting PF

West

Bosh

Tie

Starting C

Hibbert

Haslem/Bosh

Pacers

Frontcourt Bench

Hansbrough/Mahimi/ etc

Battier/Anderson/

Heat

Backcourt Bench

Augustin/ Green

Cole/Allen

Heat

Best player on team

George

James

Heat

You may not totally agree with who I said is better after watching the series but pound for pound Wade is better than Stephenson (watch Game 7 if you don’t believe), West and Bosh is a tie, Bosh averaged 18pts and 8reb in the regular season West averaged 15pt and 7rebs again a wash.  The Heat have the better superstar and the better bench.  So Heat won 4 out of 7 categories, and what closed the gap was Frank Vogel’s coaching.

Vogel did make a questionable coaching decision at the end of Game 1, and that cost him the series.  The whole series went tit for tat, and every time Vogel implemented a game plan sto stop whatever the Heat did he won, but by the time they reached game 7 it was Spoelstra’s turn, and Vogel didn’t have the luxury of adjusting a game plan.  Imagine if Vogel would have changed his Game 6 strategy going into Game 7 and the same outcome happened, in Game 7 (blow out).  We would have killed him for changing his plan from what worked in Game 6.  Instead Spoelstra had the luxury of going into Game 7 knowing what Vogel had planned.  So imagine if the Pacers won Game 1, then Heat adjust win Game 2, the Pacers adjust win Game 3, Heat adjust  win Game 4, eventually that would led to a Game 7 with Vogel having the adjustment advantage.

Now I don’t want to totally throw Spoelstra under the bus, because he made great adjustments for Game 7.  He took Wade off George and let James guard him the whole game (George fouled out and only had 7pts).  He also made the early offensive game plan to get Wade and Bosh involved because we all know James can get his whenever.  Getting Wade and Bosh involved early helped them be more active on the defensive end.   Another great strategy change was the Heat trapping and pressuring the ball handler.  This is great because the Pacers are not great ball handlers as a team, it slowed down their offensive sets so they didn’t have the whole shot clock to pound the ball down low, and lastly it allowed the smaller Heat post defenders to fight their way out of bad post positions.  Another great coaching adjustment for the Heat was immediately double teaming the ball in the post.  They never really let West and especially Hibbert get the ball in man to man situations, if you can find a major fault in Hibberts game besides inconsistency it would be that Hibbert is not a good passer out of the post, so he couldn’t take advantage of the double teams.  So again Spoelstra did his homework and came out with a game plan that led to a complete blow out in Game 7.

Going back to the main point if the Pacers win Game 1, all these adjustments for the Heat would have been in Game 6 and then the ball (no pun) would have been in Vogel’s court and we have seen that when he has the ball or plan on his side the Pacers typically get the victory.  Let’s be honest we really didn’t want to see the Spurs vs Pacers, everyone just wanted to see LeBron and the Heat lose.  So for the Haters enjoy the Finals, because you’re actually going to watch the Finals.  If Vogel manhandled Spoelstra like this, wait til he gets a load of Pop!

Jason “Big J” Allen

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