Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Post-Skiles Era...

...should not, at least initially, be judged on the basis of the team's win-loss record. As previously noted, with or without Skiles, that should definitely improve, simply because the schedule in January gets really, really easy, with a bunch of home games against the dregs of the East and West, and ending with a home-and-home against Minnesota. As Souls of Mischief used to say, "It gets no phatter."

No, the proper metrics, as I see them, are as follows:

1) Increased playing time for Tyrus and Noah: The yo-yoing of their minutes was as good a reason as any to fire Skiles, and while "accountability" is great for the politicians, when it comes to young players, the buzzword should be "development." If Ty's not consistently getting 20-30 min. and Noah 15-20 (at minimum), then firing Skiles probably won't make much difference.

2) A reanimated Corpse: Ben Wallace seems to have been at least somewhat instrumental in the sacking of Skiles, and I suppose it's possible his distaste for Skiles is what's led to his listless, passive play this year. It had better be. There's not a player on this team who has disgusted me more this year than Wallace. I'd rather watch Hinrich bullet a one-handed cross court pass into the seats or Gordon dribble off his foot while trying to ineptly split a double team in crunchtime than Wallace fumble, finger-roll and turnaround fadeaway on the offensive end. Watching that sorry spectacle is like getting a root canal without the aid of novacaine, since his defense and rebounding have been nearly as terrible. At this point, his signing is looking less like an albatross and more like a franchise killer. At least the Heat got a championship out of Shaq; Wallace has given us nothing. It's time for him to either step up on the court or pout with his fat-ass contract on the bench.

3) Can Thabo Get His Groove Back (or, more precisely, To Begin With)?: After the way he's played this year, I haven't been clamoring for more Sefolosha, and part of me thinks that if your confidence can be wrecked by a coach, your ass, to quote the immortal Bunk, is candy. But a Sefolosha who realized his potential--i.e., a long-armed defender who can facilitate the offense, rebound, and hit open jump shots--would be a real bonus. I'm not necessarily sold that playing him ahead of Du would help this team win right now---Du, incredibly (and tellingly), has been one of our better players this year---but a good Thabo can do much more than a good Duhon, and whether he can blossom away from Skiles' shadow would be another positive indication that Skiles had to go.

Obviously, Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng all need to start playing better, but I'm not sure whether their problems can be as directly linked to Skiles as the players above. Although I suppose if they all step back up to their career levels of production, we'll have even more evidence that Skiles had outstayed his welcome.


Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

Someone (not me) should do a study of W-L records and point differential for teams that fired the head coach mid-season. I really want to say magic new coach juice will make the team play better.

Even if there isn't some short term, phantom improvement, it would be pretty bizarre if Deng, Gordon, and Hinrich didn't return to close to normal.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Big Sweet said...

Right. A steady, meaningful, sane rotation will determine whether we get to the playoffs or not, and that's all on Boylan/Meyers etc.

Speaking of Bunk, can't you imagine Skiles getting the phone call from Pax, and in full Mcnulty-mode, just yell "the fuck did I do?!?"

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Pete Segall said...

Skiles as McNulty I don't buy, but poor Jim Boylan as the late Ray Foerster I can see with Pax doing the Rawls bit (which, by extension would make Reinsdorf Erv Burrell, an idea that makes my Xmas week).

3:05 PM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

So Rocky Wirtz is Tommy Carcetti, Pete Myers is Cutty right before he took a bullet in the leg, and Herm Schneider is Horseface? Is that where this is headed?

3:31 PM  
Blogger CoachSkiles said...

Agreed with Bengo on much of the analysis.

But a few things -

Why did Tellum join Wallace in meeting with Pax? What does an agent have to do with evaluating a coach? Who else does Tellum represent? Did a big name player to be acquired in a trade want Skiles out before he'll come over?

And now the pressure is on Paxson as GM, right?

Per Arenas blogging his conservation with Gordon, it seems
like Deng and Gordon are as miffed at Paxson (if not more) than they were with Skiles. Considering that
Paxson overpaid for Wallace, Kirk and Noce, it seems that they were/are expecting the same. How can you give Deng less money than Kirk?

4:24 PM  
Blogger CoachSkiles said...

Paxson as Marlo?

4:25 PM  
Blogger BenGo07 said...

They weren't offering Deng less than Kirk. Most reports have it at around 55 mil for 5, Kirk makes 48 mil for 5.

The Tellum stories are really weird, and it really makes me worry about the franchise as a whole. Maybe you Sox fans will beg to differ, but Reinsdorf seems like a real d-bag to me. He won't pay even the smallest bit of luxury tax (hence the penny-pinching w/r/t Deng and Gordon), despite being one of (if not the)
most profitable franchise in the league. Yet he overpays for Wallace, because, according to Ric Bucher, he's best friends with Tellum. (Bucher also says Pax didn't want to sign Wallace, and that he was just being loyal to Reinsdorf.) I don't know how much (if any of it) is true, but if it is, it sounds like Reinsdorf's running this team like a Boy's Club that rewards his friends, not the fans.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

What Tellum stories? The one where he was with Wallace in a meeting with Pax? Seems disturbingly normal for an agent to represent his client while meeting with the president/general manager/boss. Especially if the conversation is in regards to "I can't earn my enormous paycheck if Skiles doesn't pull his head out of his ass."

That's not to say Wallace's head isn't up his own, but I'd want my agent with me to keep it professional, and to show how serious I am. Agents aren't just for faxing salary offers back and forth.

Yes, I could have my head up my ass on this one too.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Coach Skiles said...

Oops - my bad on the numbers.
Here's the part from the Arenas blogging I was talking about -

And the same thing with Deng. I ended up finding out that with Deng; they didn’t even offer him $60 million. No, they didn’t even come close to that money.

Ben was like, “I heard if they would have offered him $58 million, he would have took that.” So Luol didn’t actually end up turning down what people thought he turned down.

9:20 AM  
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2:30 AM  

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