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View Full Version : Coaching discipline: My ideas on handling the fallout from the incident



thunderbird1245
10-09-2006, 09:18 PM
I read all weekend about everyones opinion on the shootout at the Club Rio. I read the typical variety of reactions, ranging from trade all of them now (or release them even), to the opinion that they did nothing wrong at all and were just defending themselves. I read info on how the Pacers didnt have a scheduled practice until 330 the next day, and how that our guys were victims and werent really at fault. I also read others thoughts who asked why they were their in the first place, questioning their loyalty, professionalism, and judgment. For the most part I fell somewhere in the middle majority, as I was concerned about the issues involved (drugs, guns, late nights, bad judgment, image problem, etc etc), but didnt overall think it was an issue that will be thought of or remembered much a few months from now.

However innocent the behavior was though, it does make me question their level of commitment and desire to be the very best they can be. I also have to question their own common sense and intelligence, to put themselves in that kind of situation. Clearly, to me there has to be some consequence to these guys actions, although minimal and tempered with how serious it might be. I'd probably fine them something for conduct detrimental to the team and give them extra running drills or something, and in general make their lives a little worse, as only coaches can do to players.

There are many different ways to motivate players in general, and their pride and ego are things that can be used in your favor if you do it the right way as a coach. The question I pose today is, what do you really want RC himself to do to these guys both now and in the near future?

I can tell you that even though I still remain of the opinion that as a coach I care alot more about who finishes the game than who starts one, I know in lots of players minds, and in the minds of plenty of fans on this board, that getting to start the game is a big deal. So, if that's the case, clearly not starting a game or series of games can be a huge mental thing a coach can do to create the kind of behavior and atmosphere he wants around his team. Being an NBA starter does carry a certain prestige and pride factor for some guys, so it can be a major motivator for some.

Both for the statement I think it makes, and for some other strategic reasons, id like to propose the following starting lineup for the first 7 games of the season or so, barring any other moves or injuries, and see what everyone thinks of it:

PG Armstrong
SG Granger
SF Harrington
PF Oneal
C Foster

Now clearly, I like a bigger lineup anyway, and I do like Granger at guard some, so I look at this in a slightly biased way anyway. However, I also think it sends a strong message that the best defensive 5 players will start, and that its these guys who have shown the level of dedication, attitude, and commitment that we are looking for, and thats the group I want to have the honor of starting for our franchise.

If you are RC, you might say something publically that while we understand that our guys did nothing wrong at the club, and had every right to be there, obviously their lack of professional behavior and poor thinking, along with Jackson's lack of practice time, has enabled Granger to beat him out for a starting spot. In Tinsley's case, you can say that clearly he is more talented, but Armstrongs enthusiasm, attitude, and on the ball defense has allowed him to earn this spot over him. You could say "if you want to earn it back Jamal, you'll have to show me you can handle the responsibility and also stay healthy while doing it." In Daniels case, you can say that he has an opportunity to play alot and start in the future, but clearly we are disappointed with his behavior so far, and when we think he is ready for the responsibility and honor of starting for us, we will make that happen....but clearly being at a strip joint in a seedy part of town during camp shows us he isnt mature enough to get that honor yet.

Using this grouping to start the game lets your first wave of bench players be Tinsley, Jackson, and Daniels. All three of these guys are likely to be better players than their respective backups playing for our opponents, and might give our second unit a boost. The flexibility that Granger, Harrington, Oneal, and Harrison give you can let you mix and match a front court combo to go with those 3 "supersubs". Foster can start and play a few minutes to start the game and then take a seat, and Baston, White, and Sarunas can play as needed. In this scenario I envision just using Armstrong for around a 6-7 minute span at the start to set a defensive tempo and tone, and then probably not using him again very much at all unless needed.

Starting Armstrong also lets me do something strategically that I want to do with Tinsley, which is to try and limit his minutes to about 25-28 or so, just to save him for later in the season if possible.

Now the other day I posted something about Harrison, and how I'd like to just start him in the second quarter each night and let him play the whole quarter. That idea still holds true for me but if you wanted to start him in the above proposed lineup Id be ok with it I think.

Using Foster to start and play a few first quarter minutes also limits the amount of time early in a first half that JO has to be the biggest guy on the floor. In the second half and especially in the fourth quarter Id likely use the JO-Al-Granger front court, but Id like to not have to use it so much early in games.

Id likely start the second half with Tinsley, Harrington, Granger, JO, and somebody else depending on the matchups and how I wanted to play the game strategically, but I like the mental game of manuevering my starting lineup this way both to maximize my bench guys abilities and to send a message about the type of dedication and attitude it takes to be a starter on our team and for our franchise.

As a coach, I think this type of early season discipline makes some sense.
If lack of playing time and prestige doesnt motivate a NBA player, then I dont know what will.

JMO

vapacersfan
10-09-2006, 09:24 PM
To mimick a post I saw the other day: Great post T-Bird. This is why you own this forum when you make these long posts :D

Seriously though, great post!

ChicagoJ
10-09-2006, 09:27 PM
However innocent the behavior was though, it does make me question their level of commitment and desire to be the very best they can be. I also have to question their own common sense and intelligence, to put themselves in that kind of situation. Clearly, to me there has to be some consequence to these guys actions, although minimal and tempered with how serious it might be. I'd probably fine them something for conduct detrimental to the team or something, give them extra running drills or something, and in general make their lives a little worse, as only coaches can do to players.

I'd generally agree with this, with one exception. One step further, I'd agree 100% if we were talking about HS or college players.

We ARE talking about grown men, playing a sport for a living and making a huge chunk of money.

Their agents are going to cry foul if you do any of these things.

Why? Because they had every right to be where they were. Legally, and by the letter of their contracts and teh C.B.A.

If a professional coach has to instruct his professional players how to act professional, you're just going to have big problems, period.

These guys have been given a bunch of responsiblity that comes with the eight-figure, multiyear contracts. That means they have to hold themselves to something higher than the bare minimum standard of "but its my right as an adult to do as I choose." A curfew, for example, might've kept them from getting in trouble *that* night, but I think the lack of discipline was going to make itself known somehow, somewhere.

I don't really think the coach is part of the solution here. I think the solution has to come from the player-personnel department.

thunderbird1245
10-09-2006, 09:37 PM
On a related topic Jay, I guarantee you that if I was coaching this team that we wouldnt be having training camp in the city....we'd be somewhere off in a private location, and I wouldnt have come back to town so soon....if it were me in charge, I wouldve been away in a "true training camp", away from distractions and publicity. I wouldnt have come back here until the first preseason game, and then I wouldve had the fan jam around the end of October, but thats just me.

My camp would be in the state somewhere, just not in Indy, and it wouldve been somewhere that i couldve controlled their behavior and situation better, something like the Colts have at Rose Hulman.

But thats water under the bridge. The question is what to do now....and I think all RC can do really is to control playing time, and try and effect their ego and pride. its really all there is to do as an NBA coach. I dont think the transgressions merit a suspension, and that type move would only extend the drama and mess up the chemistry even more, in my opinion. Clearly I wouldnt cut them or release them and get nothing in return, and they are basically untradeable too, so all thats left is to cut their playing time.

JMO

AesopRockOn
10-09-2006, 09:46 PM
I would be really concerned if we came out with that starting lineup to begin the season; DA gets about 5 min a game, not 6 or 7 to start the game. Danny should be at small forward, no questions asked. We'll see how the preseason lineups fare but after all is said and done, I think DG must start or be the sixth man at SF. This team must start strong in every first quarter of games this year because that killed us many a game last year. Other than that though, another great post that I pretty much agreed with. We were all owned. Badly.

ABADays
10-09-2006, 09:48 PM
I pretty much agree with what t-bird says but would take issue with one thing. This franchise cannot have it remembered even a few months. From a PR standpoint, and I have done that on a professional level, that could be disasterous - especially if there is a slow start.

To address Jay's comment. The agents would be really smart to lay low on this one. Making discipline an issue is only going to keep reflecting poorly on their client.

ChicagoJ
10-09-2006, 10:09 PM
To address Jay's comment. The agents would be really smart to lay low on this one. Making discipline an issue is only going to keep reflecting poorly on their client.

That assumes, of course, that agents are not just smart, but also have common sense.

RamBo_Lamar
10-09-2006, 11:00 PM
The question I pose today is, what do you really want RC himself to do to these guys both now and in the near future?


What I think would be a fair punishment, if it could be done (which I doubt),
would be have them (whoever is still here) forfeit their entire all-star weekend
break, camp out at Conseco Fieldhouse (on a short leash), and have them
drill and work hard on whatever part of their games need improving upon.

That would serve to makeup for any disruptions to training camp that have
been caused, and would ultimately help them as players, and help the team.

able
10-10-2006, 05:00 AM
What I think would be a fair punishment, if it could be done (which I doubt),
would be have them (whoever is still here) forfeit their entire all-star weekend
break, camp out at Conseco Fieldhouse (on a short leash), and have them
drill and work hard on whatever part of their games need improving upon.

That would serve to makeup for any disruptions to training camp that have
been caused, and would ultimately help them as players, and help the team.

Besides that such is impossible in terms of the CBA, are you sure you'd not rather flog the boys?

stew
10-10-2006, 05:45 AM
I believe top management is dealing with this issue correctly.. lay low and dish out the punishments behind closed doors...

and I totally agree with ABADays, that "This franchise cannot have it remembered even a few months. From a PR standpoint, and I have done that on a professional level, that could be disasterous - especially if there is a slow start. "

Putnam
10-10-2006, 09:02 AM
Tbird, Carlisle has no more control of Jackson than I do. He's going to let Jackson take as long as he wants to recover from his injuries, and when he comes back in he'll be the starting shooting guard. These aren't high school kids -- these are playas of the NBA.



These guys have been given a bunch of responsiblity that comes with the eight-figure, multiyear contracts. That means they have to hold themselves to something higher than the bare minimum standard of "but its my right as an adult to do as I choose."

I think it's clear that they don't have to do anything they don't want to. They don't have to take care of their bodies. They don't have to obey court orders. They don't have to keep their promises to the fans. It's their world.

BillS
10-10-2006, 11:37 AM
Besides that such is impossible in terms of the CBA, are you sure you'd not rather flog the boys?

Flogging. Ar, them was the good ol' days, them was.