Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 at 7:04 pm  |  23 responses

Coaches on the Hot Seat

Seven on the chopping block.

by Allen Kim / @_allenkim

It’s no secret that the head coaching position in the NBA is tumultuous.

In the last two decades, there have been over 200 changes at the head of the table. Not exactly the sort of stability required to run a successful franchise.

It’s not really fair for a coach to have his position in jeopardy after a few losses, but such is the life of a NBA head coach. The front-office continually puts on pressure to win now, and there is generally little patience for losing.

Some coaches have already outlived their welcome, while others have been disappointments. When the team is losing, fingers are almost always pointed at the man drawing up the plays.

If these coaches don’t find a way to turn their teams around soon, it won’t be long before they’re on the chopping block.

John Kuester, Detroit PistonsJohn Kuester

Record: 5-8

Temperature: Hot

The Pistons are off to a poor start to the season and there is turmoil brewing in Motor City.

Tayshaun Prince, one of the few remaining players from the Pistons’ championship team, has been in two public feuds with coach Kuester.

In a loss to the Warriors, the two had to be separated and Kuester even asked a security guard to remove Tayshaun from the bench (Prince remained in the game).

While they’ve reconciled their differences in the public spotlight, chances are, they still bear ill sentiments toward one another. With every loss that mounts, things will continue to get worse.

The players clearly do not support Kuester as coach and the time has come for a change.

Among the many criticisms lobbed at the team, Kuester’s erratic rotations, in particular, have come under heavy scrutiny.

Joe Dumars is already on thin ice with all the disastrous moves he’s made in the past few years, and if he wants to save his job and the Pistons’ season, Kuester needs to go.

If the team has quit on coach Kuester this early in the going, how can they expect to win on a consistent basis? This is a sinking ship and axing Kuester is the life line that’s needed to salvage what’s left of the season.

Mike D’Antoni, New York Knicks

Current Record: 6-8

Temperature: Warm

The Knicks stumbled out of the gate and the Fire D’Antoni Army appears to be growing by the day. The team has had several late game collapses and this is not the start that rabid Knicks’ fans were expecting coming into the season.

While D’Antoni made the smart decision to start Landry Fields at the 2, he stuck with Timofey Mozgov at the center position for too long. The experiment was a disaster and it was obvious from the get go that Ronny Turiaf was the one that rightfully deserved the start.

But, even with their poor start, the Knicks are clawing their way toward a winning record. Coming off a successful west coast road trip with a three-game winning streak, D’Antoni’s critics are quietly festering in a corner waiting for him to slip up.

New York has four winnable games coming up, and if they can finish the month with a record at or above .500, they should be in good shape. D’Antoni will need the team to get every last win because the month of December is a brutal one for the Knicks. Eight of their 13 games are against playoff teams, and if they want to keep hopes of a playoff berth alive, they’ll need to scrap their way to break even.

D’Antoni has one foot in the door, and one foot out. Donnie Walsh miraculously pieced together the current roster, and now that Pringles has the pieces to compete, there are no more excuses.

Vinny Del Negro, Los Angeles Clippers

Record: 2-13

Temperature: Blistering

Vinny Del Negro is not head coach material. Simple as that.

A talented Bulls roster masked his incompetency in Chicago, but his short tenure in L.A. has exposed him.

Los Angeles gives up 105.7 points per game while only scoring 96.9 points. Their -8.8 point differential is second worst in the League, and their record in last place.

While the Clippers roster is young, the squad is more talented than their current record indicates. The team has also faced some injuries, but it’s not like they’re the only ones.

The Clippers are off to their worst start in 12 years with their current 2-13 record. That is a particularly awful distinction to have when you’re coaching one of the worst franchises in the NBA.

When the Kurt Rambis-led Timberwolves have a better record, then you know something is seriously wrong.

A win against the streaking Hornets kept Vinny’s head off the block, at least for the time being, but if the Clippers continue to play like they have all season, it won’t be long before the “fire Vinny” chants begin.

At this pace, Clippers’ fans will be counting the lottery balls praying to land Harrison Barnes in the Draft.

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  • LeBron de Con

    laughable analysis

  • MikeC.

    D’Antoni stuck with Mosgov for so long because Turiaf was out with an injury. What was the other option for center? Eddy Curry? Blech.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Love the Arrested Development reference.

  • Dee S

    @mikec: turiaf was only out for 3 games right?
    @omphalos: +2 for the vertigo

    vinny needs to go. what an awful coach.

  • Mikeeeey

    turiaf was only out like 3 games. vertigoooo.

  • Hammer

    I just don’t understand how doug collins STILL gets these head coaching jobs. He shouldn’t have gotten the job n the 1st place. He’s sought after very well 4 sum only-god-knows reason. Return and stay n the booth dougie

  • http://www.slamonline melvin ely

    If you’re going to put coaches on the hot seat, it better be damn sure there are no other reasons for the teams losing record aside from coaching defficiencies. Case in point: Adelman and D’Antoni. Are you kidding me? Rockets have been devastated by injuries and you people are delusional if you think that all it takes to push the Knicks to contention is Amar’e. These teams have problems up and down the wazoo, but trust me coaching is not the most major. The rest are good, though I think Coach Drew’s time is coming if the Hawks continue to under-perform.

  • Hammer

    But,agreed. All those coaches should b gone,except d’antoni. I mean,I don’t think any1 expected the knicks 2 hit the ground runnin and wreakin havoc. There record right now is what it should b @ this point. They will get better as the season goes along. They got a nice lil 5 game winning streak goin on, after beating the cats 2nite. Chandler is coming n2 his own and felton was bound 2 improve under d’antoni’s system. Keep d’antoni around. Every1 else:OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!

  • holiday

    In y’all didn’t see D-Will dominates CP3 once again check the head to head, nowhere near close!

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Given the God-awful rotations that Sacramento has used, Westphal’s days should be limited. Pick a lineup and stick to it!

  • Jackie Moon

    Better add Spoelstra. He’s going to be the first scapegoat for the Miami Heap of Basura.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Congratulations. You dont know what the hell youre talking about.

  • Groves

    A lineup of Bledsoe, Gordon, Barnes, Griffin, Kaman, DeAndre Jordan, Aminu and Craig Smith is a nice little lineup going forward, combine that with another young point guard to backup Bledsoe/Davis and a move out of LA and i ould say thats a second round playoff team at least

  • Groves

    @Jackie. your perception skills fail something terrible

  • Will

    I will never understand “hot seat” talk when a month of the season is done. You can’t have 30 winning squads in the NBA. Just because you have a losing record, shouldn’t mean you off a coach. I don’t see how a different coach makes the Wolves a playoff team in the West. I don’t see how Doug Collins is supposed to turn a roster of number three options hog-tied by bad contracts into an instant contender in one season much less one month.

  • ab40

    Mike D needs to go and they need to build that team around D again. not around flashy ofense and no defense not to forget terrible rebounding.


    UPDATE: D’Antoni isn’t on the hot seat. The Knicks are WINNING and GRINNING (5 straight W’s) with a record of 8-8. The Knicks are currently the 4th highest scoring offense (106.69) in the league, and at the defensive end they’re leading the league in blocked shots (7.88) and 7th in steals (8.31) with both fueling their transition offense. The Knicks are collectively knocking down their free throws (79.5%) which is 6th best in the league. None of this is a fluke. It’s a result of hard work, and the team coming together and improving their chemistry. The 2010-11 Knicks are a work in progress, and it’s only going to get better when Kelenna Azubuike eventually works himself into the lineup/rotation. I’m thoroughly enjoying the growth process of these Knicks. Glad I could help out. Happy Thanksgiving!


    Erik Spoelstra seat is LAVA hot. Real talk.

  • JTaylor21

    Who the hell said that DWill dominated CP? Did you even watch the game; DWill 26/11/5 TOs while taking 18 shots, CP 17/9/1 TOs with only 8 shots. That doesn’t look like any domination to me.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    JTaylor, what was the final score again? Oh that’s right, Deron dominated.

  • Luiyo

    Harrison Barnes?? I saw him live in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and he did not play good. I think he’s overrated, he has a very good jump shot, good size, but nothing else, he’s slow, not very athletic (average), not a good defender, poor one-one player… I know I’m being a little harsh with the guy but I was expecting a little more from your diary keeper and #1 rated high school player or maybe because I’m a Tar Heel and I’m frustated with my team…

  • Groves


  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I BEEN telling peeps Del Negro sucks, and any Bulls fans will tell you likewise. I WILL say this, though, in his defense, that team is young. I mean, FOUR rookies are in the rotation, three rookies have been starting recently. Eric Gordon and Deandre Jordan are both still very young as well. And Baron sucks. Ultimately though, it doesn’t matter cause Vinny is a horrible coach.