At what point do we start holding coach Clifford’s feet to the fire?
Got to be one of our more embarrassing losses in a minute
I’ve defended Cliff a fair bit on here, and back what I’ve posted. That said, your question is a valid one. At what point does one acknowledge his message just hasn’t got through?
He’s a very good defensive coach, he sets out good game plans, both offensively and defensively … but on the court his players are simply not delivering. Surely, even with all the injury comings and going, his players should be able to play functionally correct D. The personnel he has to work with ensures we won’t be a good defensive team, but we can at least be functional and make the right rotations etc. I can’t defend, and won’t, defend that.
I haven’t seen the game and just look at the Box Score now. The FT‘s look quite offset with 12 to 29. Did we play that soft?
Last night was brutal to watch. It was horrendous on both ends of the floor.
There’s zero excuses for that. We had a long rest playing the horrible bulls without Lavine.
It’s games like that confirm my personal opinion that this roster is over valued by many and I cannot wait to get new faces in charlotte. Cliff included.
I really want rozier and Hayward gone by the trade deadline.
Last night was frustrating for sure, but it I think it bears mentioning that we’ve played exactly zero games this year with our full roster. Last night we were down two starters. It doesn’t excuse the poor execution of the guys who were there, but not having your best players does make a difference.
We’ve been saying that now for 3 years. And I’m just over it. I’d like to see some new faces, hopefully ones that can stay healthy.
Sadly it’s been true for the past 3 years. We’ve debated this before, of course, but I still contend you can’t accurately assess the value of something you’ve never seen. It’s somewhat like trying to assess Bryce’s value without seeing him play with a competent o-line and receivers. You can draw some inferences, but you really can’t make that assessment. To declare this roster as incapable of competing when we’ve consistently been without 2-3 key pieces for at least the last 2 seasons just seems a bit unfair. I hope we get to see that roster for at least 6 weeks or so before we tear it up, if only to appease my own curiosity of what we could actually be.
I am not of the opinion that we need a full roster to evaluate the efficacy of this coaching staff. Clifford’s tendencies have not changed notably from his first tenure’s 4th and 5th year.
I personally think it’s condemning that his teams are never effective when any significant component of them is out. That’s basically the premise of pro sports, main guys miss games, that’s just a fact of it. If you are a great chef, or painter, or software developer, or musician; you know how to work when a component is absent. I cannot watch Spoelstra, Nurse, or Pop in his heyday and think that you remove one or two players from their tool bag and the whole team goes to shit (and there’s several more coaches we can all add to that list, they just don’t work here). They are/were able to coach overall rather consistently with guys out all the time. It’s why they are at one level, and our coaching staff is on one far, far lower.
In 96-97 David Robinson was hurt and only played in 6 games. The Spurs went 20-62 that year. That’s how they ended up with Duncan. They had won 59 games the year before and 62 the year before that. I don’t say that to offer an excuse for our coaching staff because I do agree that we’ve seen enough of Cliff over his two stints as coach to know what we have there and I don’t disagree that a change is in order. But I think the Spurs example does speak to the point that regardless who the coach is or who the remaining personnel are, there are certain personnel losses that a team simply can’t overcome. Another example is KD and Klay being out in the finals a few years back. You just aren’t going to be able to compensate for such a significant loss of fire power.
Our margin is fairly thin. We can’t afford to go an entire year without Miles and 2/3 of a year without Lamelo and not feel that. Most teams couldn’t. Obviously not saying that either of them is an MVP caliber player on the level of Robinson or KD, but in terms of their relative importance to our team, the impact of their absence is similar. Players are certainly going to get hurt and miss games here or there, but I do think the number of games missed by starters and key players the past couple of years here has been beyond what any team could be reasonably expected to overcome.
I didn’t start watching last night until late 3rd quarter. Down about 16. During a time out I noticed Williams in street clothes. Nobody hitting shots, especially 3s. Kept waiting for NSJ to get some time. He’s shot pretty well so far. Never got in. This is a huge problem I have with Clifford. It doesn’t take a genius to see when it’s over. Give some guys a chance. Let them get a few minutes with rotation guys and not just garbage minutes, which he didn’t get last night.
They purposely tanked, iirc, Pop even took advantage to make himself the coach. Think he was the gm prior. That while thing looked a little eeesh by those days standards. Today it would just be a normal year. But not an example of one man goes down and the team falls apart.
Tanking or not, they weren’t sniffing 60 wins that year without Robinson. Nor were the Warriors in 19-20 when Klay was out and Steph played in 5 games and they went 15-60. We can’t deny that not having key players makes a huge difference.
The hornets have no one near the caliber of any of the three players that you cited.
I know I am in the minority but other than melo, there isn’t one player on this roster that would start for all 30 teams. This roster is one of the least talented top to bottom in the league.
Im also in this camp
Obviously, and I’m not arguing that we do. But that’s also not really relevant. I’m simply making the point that when you lose starters and key players for extended periods of time, it’s going to impact the product on the floor significantly, whether you’re Pop, Steve Kerr, Steve Clifford or John Wooden. That’s all I’m saying. And further I think that makes it difficult to accurately assess the capability of your roster when you never get to see it function as an intact unit.
I get that you and others don’t think there’s enough talent on our roster for any of that to even matter. So be it. But I just have a different opinion about that.
Just trying to thread the needle, cause both points have validity.
If all our top players were healthy, or not “suspended”, if we had gotten our choice of coach, and they were allowed to mesh in a system that played to their strengths and grow together over the years, then Mitch’s vision of a playoff caliber roster is correct. We were in 4th place in the East (was not sustainable, but still there) Melo’s rookie year before he broke his wrist, and Gordon had one of his ailments. I think we would’ve gotten past the play-in and into a real first round battle one of those years, and not look like this shit show the past 2 years.
The problem is, the peak of the team was always first round fodder. The talent to make any noise in the playoffs was never enough, maybe they could push a game 7, or shock the world and make a short lived 2nd round appearance if everything fell into place perfectly.
But the point of building a team is to get a playoff caliber roster, then make the changes and improvements over the years to become a conference contender, then league contender. Mitch for whatever crazy reason decided that what he created was good enough. Even if they had ever made the playoffs, it was incumbent upon him to keep adding to the roster, make better fits, better complementary players, impactful free agents.
But he just said, nah. Run it back again. And again. And again. It never made sense for him to never make a move to improve the talent on the roster, whether injured or not, whether winning or not. Never proactive, always reactive.
Even if we back ourselves into another top 3 pick, its at the point we need to pull a Houston, or Sacramento, or Minnesota, bring in some serious impact vets, and stop coasting on the edges of lotterydom.