Stick to the front office, Jerry. Coaching is not your forte. Mike Antoni falls short on all measurable evaluations of a professional basketball coach. The only measurable/tangible impact a coach can make at the professional level in basketball is as follows:
1. Use of timeouts.
2. Form and function of player roles in offense/defense
3. Timing and pattern of player substitutions
4. Game plan, player preparation and player motivation
5. In game match-up/X's-O's adjustments
Antoni's grades in each category are as follows:
1. D, the one missing from his name I guess.
Mike often misses great opportunities to time breaks in the action to best facilitate changes in the rotation, player energy levels, and to punctuate fluctuations of momentum. Instead, he mainly just uses timeouts as a white flag, or to berate players for mostly meaningless things he notices...or to blame the players for his inadequacies as a coach.
2. F, Straight Up!!!
This is, perhaps, his biggest weakness as a head coach...although it is a tight race among MOST measurable criteria. It would/should be bad enough to merely mention that Antoni calculates players roles based almost EXCLUSIVELY on their impact within the OFFENSE.
Add to that the fact that he does so within his rigid adherence to a thus far unproven (dis-proven, honestly) offensive system that pigeon-holes square peg players into the round hole (black hole, really) that represents his pathetic outside-in philosophy...which has thus far produced 0 championships and 0 finals appearances.
This is also a LEADING contender (unlike Antoni teams) for his greatest weakness...funny, Antoni might be known for greatness after all, just the greatness of his weaknesses instead of his strengths. First of all, Antoni plays FAR TOO FEW players off of the bench...which is bad enough on its own.
Then, you also have to consider that most of the players he plays are asked to do what Antoni wants them to do, almost irrespective of their actual strengths and weaknesses. Antoni is totally clueless in this area!!!!
4. F...See a pattern here???
Another GLARING weakness for Anonti. First of all, his preparation is almost exclusively one dimensional...rotations, evaluations, game tape analysis/strategy formed almost entirely from one side of the ball, and that from a very narrow (7 seconds or less, inside out, 25 3's a game, small ball) perception of offense.
Also consider that his constant acerbic jokes at the expense of his players, his constant negative nagging in half time speeches and post game rants, his general demeanor of condescending disapproval on the sidelines during games, and his general disregard for player's feelings and it becomes very understandable why his teams seem confused, unprepared, defensively inept and unmotivated.
5. D+, tentative but grudgingly admitted.
This is one area where I will give Antoni a small bit of credit. Though most of his in game adjustments are desperate flails and ethereal “gut” reactions based on the failure of his ineffective initial game planning, he does sometimes hit on the “right guy” or “right adjustment” in the middle of games that sometimes can provide a good boost for the team.
The main problem, though, is that most of the time he rides these mini waves far too long, often at the expense of the gain in question and often to the detriment of a given player's morale (see the Memphis game where Pau sat the ENTIRE fourth quarter, even though Jamison hit a bit of a wall late in the quarter, et al)
All in all, the only reason Antoni is still considered a professional coach is because of Steve Nash's coattails...and those are dwindling by the hour.
The End is nigh. Time for a total Cut and Shuffle. Kobe contract was a mistake...time to avoid making more. The future is here, whether we want it to be or not. An era is over, but for the death rattle, and it's time for the cycle to begin anew. Growth and change are scary and painful, but alas...nothing worth achieving comes easily.