Bucks Diary

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Great start for Coach K


I'm not convinced those were the Bucks who beat the Spurs last night. The Bucks I know don't pound the boards like men possessed. Those Bucks did (outrebounding the Spurs by 20). The Bucks I know don't play defense. Those Bucks did (holding the Spurs 3 best offensive players -- Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli -- to a collective 13-for-37). The Bucks I know sure don't have a bench. Those Bucks did (outscoring the Spurs bench 37-to-30.). And the Bucks I know like to end bad teams' long losing streaks. Those Bucks ended a good team's long winning streak (the Spurs had won 13 in a row).

All in all, a pretty impressive debut for Coach K. I know ephemeral upswings are quite common after coaching changes, but nevertheless, I am flabbergasted at the difference between the Bucks team that took the floor against Toronto on Tuesday night and the one that faced San Antonio last night. Only the names remained the same. Does this portend good things for the future? Let's not get ahead of ourselves, but I certainly like the start.

Harris wanted to replace Stotts sooner

I kind of let loose my frustration on Larry Harris on Wednesday, charging him with failure to recognize the need for a coaching change in time to salvage this season. But in retrospect that was probably unfair. If you listened to the press conference and the series of interviews he gave over the last 24 hours, and if you read between the lines and understood what he was saying, it is pretty clear he had been dissatisfied with Terry Stotts for a long time. He saw all of the shortcomings that we saw. I now believe other forces probably counseled patience and held him back. But, what needed to be done has been done and now its time to look forward.

Red knew how to say it

One of the chief complaints against Terry Stotts, and one that was echoed by Larry Harris in his public statements, was his inability to inspire the men under his command. Great coaches grab your attention and hold it. Yesterday I was reminded of that fact in a weird way.

I was sitting on my couch with the TV going in the background when one of those NBA "I love this game" commercials came on. This one was a tribute to Red Auerbach. The entire commercial consisted of an edited, 15 second clip from one of those old "Red on Roundball" segments where Red was explaining what it takes to play good defense. He didn't say anything particularly insightful, but the way he said it, and the rhetoric he used, were absolutely electrifying ("Ya gotta be SELF-SACRIFICING!"). I wasn't paying any attention to the TV when the commercial came on, but Red's words and his delivery immediately seized my attention. I rewound the commercial and watched it over at least three times. I'm not kidding. Great coaches can have that unexplainable power over you, and Red was certainly great.

Bucks Diary Eff48 BoxScore

101
Greer......................................54.39
Redd.......................................35.36
Bogut......................................30.43
Ilyasova...................................30.00
Patterson.................................27.24
Skinner....................................24.00
Bell.........................................14.76
Williams...................................-(00.06)

90
Barry..........................................28.80
Duncan.......................................23.35
Parker........................................19.20
Finley.........................................18.00
Ginobli........................................14.89
Elson..........................................14.11
Bowen.........................................03.89

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