Punk-101 wrote:My memory of Phil is the team grossly underperforming going into the playoffs leading us to question when they were going to "flip the switch". They then proceeded to struggle mightily against NOH only to be swept by Dallas in embarrassing fashion. Our current roster is Cleary better and Phil demands some faith, but he isn't immune to his team under preforming. I love Phil and he has the championship pedigree, but I'm concerned.
To be fair, that team had been to 3 Finals in a row. They were older, tired/gassed, and I don't think the motivation was quite there like it had been. It wasn't Phil's fault that OKC was better and hungrier than the Lakers, wasn't his fault that Pau's game fell off a cliff that playoffs. I really think that team just didn't have the personnel overall to get it done either, other teams had passed us by. The only major criticism I have for that Phil coached team is that he could not get the new defensive system to work, can't remember if Chuck Person was in charge of that or not, but the team just could not get it. They talked about it all the time, but they never got it right, whether it was being an older, unathletic team, or like I said before, being gassed. It's not a great excuse, but hey Phil might have been gassed himself after 3 Finals and that rough season.
I'd also bring up that we got beat in embarrassing fashion to the Celtics in the last game of the Finals in '08, but Phil wasn't fired then and rightfully so, we came back and won the next 2. It happens to even the greatest coaches, even the Shaq/Kobe Lakers under Phil had some terrible
playoff loses, I particularly remember that one game vs Indiana in the Finals where we lost by like 30. I don't think the team actually quit on Phil though, that's the difference, they just didn't have in them, Kobe was injured, Pau had some issues or something that destroyed his game, and the team just ran it's course. Phil is not perfect, you're right, but I wouldn't hesitate to take him back for a second. He'd get more out of our role players (I believe Meeks and Jamison would actually start doing well) than any other coach out there, and he'd have the respect of all our stars. There's almost no other coach out there I can see that would actually have the full respect from Kobe, Howard and Nash. That's not even mentioning that he'd HAVE Kobe, Howard and Nash, more talent than he'd have had in a long time.