NBA Playoffs roundup
By JAIME C. HARRIS | 4/24/2014, 1:33 p.m.
During the opening week of the NBA playoffs, a prevalent storyline has been the reportedly tenuous job status of several head coaches who have guided their teams into the postseason.
For some who failed to meet the benchmark of making the playoffs—most notably former Knicks coach Mike Woodson—team executives were swift in pushing them out the door. Woodson was fired by Knicks President Phil Jackson on Monday, joined on the same day in the expansive ex-NBA head coaches club by Tyrone Corbin, who was ousted by the Utah Jazz.
To paraphrase legendary Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight, the people responsible for constructing the many poorly conceived rosters that dot the NBA landscape should be the first to lose their jobs. Employing a philosophy in which analytics and advanced metrics drive nearly every personnel decision, an increasing number of owners, presidents and general managers have become exceedingly reliant on complex mathematical computations to determine the efficacy of their coaches—a shortsighted methodology that is not definitively proven.
In the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers’ Frank Vogel is widely referenced as the coach most likely to get canned. It’s a fair assumption that Pacers President Larry Bird will do just that if Vogel does not win the conference title. The top–seeded Pacers faltered in the second half of the regular season but still secured home court advantage in the east.
But they were embarrassed at home on Saturday in Game 1 of the first round by the eighth seeded Atlanta Hawks, losing 101-93 and setting off alarms throughout the organization. There was high anxiety surrounding Game 2 in Indianapolis on Tuesday as the Pacers faced their most crucial test of the season.
Out west, Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson has long been rumored to be on highly unstable footing. Despite leading the Warriors into the playoffs for the second straight year, alleged turmoil among Jackson’s coaching staff and unconfirmed issues between him and management have led to broad speculation that the only outcome that could save his hide is a deep second-round run minimally.
The Warriors are tied with the Los Angeles Clippers 1-1 in Round 1, with Game 3 at Golden State tonight (Thursday).