1. Rudy Gay. Hey, while he was on the team I screamed to let OJ be the shooter in the clutch. I was very glad to see him go.
2. Hollins was a better coach without Gay. So? That's what mgmt is *supposed* to do.
3. Joerger: Wait and see is good with me. I kinda like him. The players seem to like him. But does that make him a coach who can take a lot of nothing and make something special? That - is the question. He seems intelligent and affable. I like the guy. I think he's been thrown into a difficult situation. I have empathy for him. What I'm looking for is something to admire. I like him fine. I think most people do.
4. The 2nd best in the West: BS. By that logic, the Pacers were not the 2nd best team in the East. But, of course, they were. And the Griz were the 2nd best team in the West at the end of the season. No question.
5. One thing I'm sick and tired of is hearing about Z's age. This right after we get our ears pinned back by the Spurs and the Lakers are fidgeting to get Koby back, and Z puts up the numbers he's been putting up (Spurs excepted but that goes back several years.) I say wait until the performance suffers to make that call. You give Z less than you give Joerger? Give it a chance and at the end, it is what it is. I'll say this too though: Joerger's minutes can't be controlled and keep getting performance out of him. But Z can be handled that way. (As long as we're doing hypotheticals I wish for Kevin Love back.)
6. Another thing I am totally (!) sick and tired of is this concept of how measuring against last year's success is wrong-headed. That is totally a loser mentality. Hell, even the Heat don't do that. They say last year was not good enough - they need three in a row. Cut it out with the we're destined to be worse so just accept it philosophy. I will never be in that camp. That is not the way I learned sports. That is not the way I live my life. And that is not the way I will view the Griz. One thing Hollins did was improve every darn year. I love that. I will take that every day, all day long. I'm looking for that from the Griz organization. If Hollins was the coach, I would allow no excuse. If Joerger is the coach, I accept no excuse. If ownership makes changes, I will accept no excuse. Better every year.
Oh, and P.S.
How long did it take the Griz to climb to the top?
How long has it taken Jordan's team? (Answer: They haven't made it yet.)
How long has it taken the other Canada expansion team? (Answer: They haven't made it yet.)
Ownership did not go through those years. They have not been down that hard and rocky road. I do not think they understand how hard it is to build a successful NBA team. I don't think they appreciate how rare it is to scratch and claw and climb up out of the cellar. I'd like to ask who else is dumb enough to break a winner. But, there's the dumb-A Nuggets ownership. LOL. So, let's see how they do. I say they don't have the sense to come in out of the rain. ...shrug... We'll see.
Oh, and P.P.S.
Hollins solved (almost) every team that ever plagued the Griz. Personally, I think he would have solved the Spurs too. If he had a chance.
These people are rightfully judged by the same yardstick by which we are all judged. Namely:
What have you done for me lately?
All this talk about numbers.......
I want someone to graph the progress of the Griz over the last few years and I want to see where that graph goes after ownership/management/coaching/philosophy change.
Gimme that number.
There is a place between a Hollins fan and a Joerger fan. There is a place where people/fans look at thing rationally. I think rational fans are not going to blame Joerger for reasonable changes in team performance and success as long as he does his best. I also think reasonable fans will not expect to ever relive the Hollins era, nor do reasonable fans ever expect to see Hollins walking the Griz sideline ever again.
But reasonable fans are absolutely entitled to hold ownership accountable.
Hollins created a team identity that worked with both the players and the fans. Reading above, you seem to be waiting for the Griz identity that Hollins masterminded and created to get tweaked and survive - all the while saying we must expect things to be different in the end.
I say you may not be able to have your cake and eat it too. I say be reasonable. Don't tell me things are going to be different and stay the same - all at the same time.
Hollins had a vision of how to win (and win big!) with the players on the roster. All I'm looking for is a new vision of how to win (and win big) with the players on the roster. The way I see it, it's either that or settle for mid-level mediocrity, or... throw it all out and start over by getting some players that will work in whatever vision someone (hopefully) has.
But I will say this:
Every friggin' team in the league (well maybe not the Spurs) (and not the Pacers) is after the go-fast basketball philosophy I keep hearing about. The plain fact is that there are not enough of those guys around to make teams for everyone who wants to do it. And as a result, the big majority of teams fall into mediocrity. I hate that vision for the Griz. Tell you the truth, I'd rather they be on the bottom than in the middle. At least when they win a game when they're on the bottom, it's something to get excited about. You remember the first time they beat the Lakers? Beat Shaq and Koby? That was a night! Screw middle mediocrity.
One thing I loved about Hubie was that he had a different philosophy. He didn't need a star studded lineup to be very good and exciting. Maybe we can trade Gasol, Conley, Zac and TA for some draft picks and get Hubie back in the saddle. Maybe what's-his-name will sell the team. (I can dream, can't I?)
Or maybe it'll all work out. Mid season you say? Fine. That's where we're headed. It will be what it will be. Maybe a final four team just needs a tweak and maybe it got just the tweak it needed. :)
The last few years the Griz have created/developed/assumed/bought into an Identity.
I think the question to ask is: Does that identity survive and thrive under new coach and management?
If it does not.....
I am months late on this thread. Sorry. Apparently, I don't do Grizz year round. But reading here to catch up for the upcoming season I feel passionately enough to offer a couple of corrections to what I see as some misconceptions in the original blog post. Maybe no one will read it - but here it is anyway.
Re Hollins' accomplishments:
It's not that Hollins took the Griz to the NBA final four. His big accomplishments are:
That he took a perennial losing team to success. (He was successful where Jerry West was not. No small feat.)
He took the players he had and made them better. Now, everyone says Gasol is a premier center. When we got him, we got killed in a trade. Now, everyone says Conley is a premier point guard and the most underrated player in the NBA. In his first seasons everyone (notably except Hollins) said he was a dog.
He won big without even one big superstar.
He inspired his players, his team. (And the city.)
He had a vision of greatness that he pursued relentlessly and successfully. He often said he and the team were trying to, in his often repeated words, "do something special". He had is sights set on a championship even back when the team sucked.
He got his players to buy into his dream/vision and execute it.
Re Joerger's bar:
I will add:
Here is where management's touted number crunching can show its merit. If it's the new cat's meow - show me. Don't tell me. Show me.
Based on Herrington's prior post analyzing Hollinger's draft evaluation system - as I recall Hollinger didn't hit on any world class pick improvements (though he might have been slightly better over all) - I have to wonder if Griz management is up to the task.
It seemed to me that Hollins was using Wroten and had him into the rotation until that game on the road where Wroten stayed in the hotel with a migraine. Of course, that fouled up Hollins' rotation and game plan. After that, I noticed Hollins was reluctant to rely on Wroten. I always remember that when this board talks (as it often does) of "bringing Wroten along".
On the trade thing: I wish the Griz new management would just make an internal rule that they are not going to trade away any more draft picks. It never seems to be a good decision in the long run.
I don't think the idea of trading to pick up outside shooting is a good idea unless you don't want the player you're trading for some reason. Like a susceptibility to unpredictable migraines. It's true the Griz need outside shooting. It's also true that existing players see that and are working on it. I think outside shooting is a consideration, not a skill to rule a roster choice. The Griz went very far without much outside shooting threat. I don't think they can sacrifice any part of their successful game in exchange for outside shooting improvement. I think they have to keep the successful game they have developed and add outside shooting to that if they want to get back to the final four and possibly go beyond that.
This is where the new management gets judged. Are they up to the task? There is good value to be had in their picks. Can they do as well as their team did? Can they rise above the competing management teams? Can they pan for gold and come up with a nugget or two?
Management has judged Hollins. Now we judge management.
All Comments »
By Leonard Gill
download this issue
click here to see more »