Bucks Diary

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Stotts Revisited

It takes a real man to admit he was wrong. Since I'm not much of one, I rarely do. In this case, I make an exception.

Last year I posted a defense of Bucks coach Terry Stotts. I caught more flak on that than one of those jet fighters on the History Channel's Dogfights. I should have listened.

I have seen the light. It has become abundantly clear Stotts lacks "the necessities" (to quote the unfortunate Al Campanis) required to be an effective leader.

First of all, he is a misguided strategist. He has failed to recognize that the fast paced style he has employed is completely wrong for his personnel. He wants to be a running team in the mold of the 80s Lakers, but he lacks the necessary point guard and the necessary rebounders. His team is composed of players more suited to a half-court pass-and-shoot style. The run-and-gun mentality he has instilled has thus been a disaster.

What troubles me even more is his inability to (paraphrasing a line from the movie Full Metal Jacket) 'properly motivate his troops'. Everytime they underperform, you want him to push some buttons or at least jump a little ugly, but instead he just spouts empty platitudes and weird middle management cliches.

Consider his comments in this morning's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. When asked why his team has played such pathetic defense he responded with this fluff: "The challenge we have, more so than any opponent, is playing with a sense of urgency and desperation. The more we do that the better." You think that mantra will resonate in an NBA locker room? Not likely. In fact, it will probably be met with glazed and/or befuddled eyes.

Now compare Stotts' response to the comments of Wisconsin Badgers' coach Bret Bielema after his team's narrow victory over Illinois. When asked about the condition of PJ Hill, his starting tailback who had just been knocked completely silly by the Illini defense and as a consequence had to come out of the game in the third quarter, he responded "PJ just needs to take some toughness pills." Sounded harsh at the time, but the psychology was note perfect. Having had his manhood challenged, Hill responded the following Saturday with an excellent game against a rugged Penn State defense.

Leaders know what needs to be said and they say it.


At November 14, 2006 at 10:15 PM, Blogger treego14 said...

Good analysis.

I think you said it well.

Let's hope you're wrong, though. I am hoping Stotts is a little different behind closed doors with the players.

I think you're right, though. There is not enough evidence to suggest much of anything different than what you have said.


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