Coaches on the Hot Seat
Seven on the chopping block.
Rick Adelman, Houston Rockets
Rick Adelman is well respected in NBA circles, and he has had plenty of success in the past, but the Rockets have been a colossal disappointment in the early going.
The team showed some fire and tenacity against the Lakers in its debut game, but they’ve fallen flat since.
Even with Aaron Brooks out and Yao facing another setback, the Rockets are a deep team with backups more than capable of filling in.
The Rockets are in the midst of a 4-game losing streak and things are looking bleak for the team. Houston natives will soon start chanting for Adelman’s head the further the team drifts below the .500 mark.
Kurt Rambis, Minnesota Timberwolves
Rambis can no longer hold onto his Zen Master pedigree. He’s as incompetent as they come, and it’s only a matter of time before he is ousted from Minnesota.
When management comes out and flatly says that fans should not expect the team to be competitive, than you know there is little faith in the team from top to bottom.
Coach Rambis may actually be the only coach in the NBA happy that Miami managed to pull off one of the most absurd free agency coups in the history of the NBA. After all, the cap clearing moves made by Pat Riley landed them Michael Beasley.
Surprisingly, Beasley has been a godsend to the team. Each time Michael has broken the 30-point barrier, the team has won.
But, Beasley hasn’t been alone in the team’s winning efforts. Kevin Love, the team’s most talented player, has played a vital role in the team’s success.
The Free Kevin Love movement was a tough ride, but Love’s supporters eventually won out. If it wasn’t for pressure from Minnesota’s front office, Kevin Love would still be rotting on the bench.
Patience is wearing thin on the joke-laden Timberwolves and Rambis is not the one to turn things around.
Doug Collins, Philadelphia 76ers
Collins has had success in the past as a head coach, but it seems that each of his stints have followed the same script. The team improves in the first year, gets slightly better the year after, and then falls apart in the third season.
The 76ers are not falling in line with his career arc and if he can’t make improvements in his first year, does he really have a shot at making it to a second?
It doesn’t help that Collins has had some health issues early on, facing symptoms only Lucille Austero could relate to.
With the way things are going in the City of Brotherly Love, Collins may soon find himself back in the broadcasting booth.
Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat
There were high expectations for the Miami Heat coming into the season. While the team has had its fair share of blowout wins, the Heat currently sport a very undesirable record.
The roster may be spearheaded by a pair of superstars with an All-Star rounding out the trio, but when the losses start piling up, heads will roll.
Having Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh on one team is a double-edged sword. There is immense pressure on Spoelstra to live up to the lofty goals bestowed upon the team by analysts and observers from around the league.
If any sort of change at the coaching position were to happen, it would be swift as Hall of Fame coach, Pat Riley, is lurking upstairs waiting for his opportunity to pounce.
Pat Riley is a master manipulator. He has vehemently denied the notion of him returning to the sidelines, but he has already set in motion a precedent for him to take a seat at the head of the bench.
Riley dropped this gem in the summer, saying that “if some free agent were to say, ‘I will come here but you must do this,’ well, hell, if that happens that day, then I might have to give it some thought based on building this franchise.”
Pat essentially let it be known that he would pick up a clipboard once again if that’s what it takes.
LeBron recently complained about the rotation and the amount of minutes he was playing. His words were not a death knell to Spoelstra’s position, and it could’ve just been LeBron venting, but if the team is struggling to stay above .500, the rumblings will only get louder.
Rome was not built in a day, but if the team cannot capitalize on the absurd amount of talent on the roster, Spoelstra may soon find himself pulling a Stan Van Gundy.