The problems with the lack of rebounding and poor all-around defensive effort in large part grow out of MDA's personnel decisions. He seems to only ever think about the offense, specifically to spread the floor with shooters and (presumably) get more speed out there. He just seems to put blinders on when it comes to evaluating and planning for other aspects o0f a basketball game. His penchant for simply letting the threes fly and giving everyone the green light may work one or two games out of, say, ten, when the team can't miss from three and, on a given night, when the opponent can't find the basket. But it's not a recipe for consistent winning when the shots aren't falling, or when the other team can light it up and can also challenge your shooters, as they will most assuredly do in the play-offs. MDA does not coach a balanced brand of basketball and, what's worse, his green-light-at-all-costs philosophy also ingrains bad habits into his personnel such as shooting too early in the shot clock (when you need to slow the pace), no concern for offensive rebounding position, and no concern for defensive floor spacing for when offense transitions to defense.
It's just bad basketball. Many MDA supporters constantly hammer home the point that MDA IS a good coach because all other teams in the NBA are running his seven-seconds -or-less system. Fact is, Doug Moe and Don Nelson were running the MDA system long before MDA was. MDA was the first guy to go all-in on the three point shot as the core of the offense. Congratulations. I just hope you have a good shooting team that can also rebound well, get back on defense, and slow the other team when the run down your throat the other way. Secnd, I would argue that other coaches have surpassed him, probably because the are better coaches than he is and can adapt to the circumstances at hand. They are not idealogues to the extent that MDA is.
MDA's lack of adjustments on both ends (and this is a criticism made by players, not just disgruntled fans), the myopic focus only on what a team does offensively, and the seeming total disregard for a balanced attack,lack of a premium on rebounding (why start a shrimp on a seven footer? Why concede the backboard to the other team form the get go?) -- these are the hallmarks of a guy with philosophical tunnel vision, his lone innovation (privileging the three-ball) notwithstanding.
His worst sin is insisting on running his brand of ball when the personnel to run it just ain't there. That and his failure to generate on defense the same kind of enthusiasm his players show toward the offense.
If he comes back for yet another season then, if it's not already clear to everyone it will soon be: the FO has so idea of what it is doing. There is already talk of re-tooling the personnel to better fit his system for next season -- again. I find that to be a very strange notion. Should he not instead be adapting his system to the players at hand? MDA has placed himself in the unenviable position of denigrating several players (Pau, Kaman, Hill) which, frankly, I think even some of the best teams in the league could find productive use for.
How many chances is this guy going to get?
Jabbar was on talk radio this morning and he very succinctly pointed out that the FO has made mistakes. He said they were "learning on the job," which, considering that Mitch has been in and around basketball for around fifty years as college player, pro player, as the Logo's understudy, and as the GM of the lakers -- makes me think that Jabbar was very subtly saying that much of the blame falls at the feet of Jim Buss -- who has never been the key figure in decision-making behind the scenes until the end of PJ's last season.
The FO fascination with MDA has never struck me as something that Mitch K. would do if left to his druthers.