The teams at the bottom are already starting to panic. There have been 2 coaches fired already in this young season.
On Saturday, the Thunder fired PJ Carlesimo and assistant coach Scott Brooks was named coach in his place. The Thunder had started the season 1-12 which brought about the coach's demise. It was said that he had lost the attention of the Thunder's young franchise player, Kevin Durant.
Today we got the news that the 1-10 Washington Wizards have fired Eddie Jordan and Ed Tapscott, the Wizards' director of player development, will replace Jordan on an interim basis.
Checking out the Raptors' boards after their loss to the Celtics, you have to wonder if they won't be the next team to dump their coach. After being considered by many to give the Celtics a run for the top spot in the Atlantic, the Raptors have started 6-7. The Raptors' fans are all calling for their coach's head and I didn't see any support for him in any of the 140 + pages of their game threads.
But, Firing the coach is a scape goat move. The GMs need to ask themselves if they have given their coach enough talent to win with. The Thunder situation reminds me of the Celtics a couple of years back. A very young team with a lot of talent. There are expectations going into the season and by the nature of the beast, a young team never seems to meet those expectations and so the blame falls on the coach.
In the 2006-07 season, the Celtics had a lot of young talent and expectations going into the season for them. But, youth and injuries did what youth and injuries always do... they produced a very inconsistent team. Celtics' fans were calling for the heads of both Doc and Danny. I don't remember seeing much support for Doc on the boards.
But Danny hung in there and kept his faith in Doc and instead of firing the coach, went out and got him the players to work with. Suddenly, Danny was a genius and Doc was a great coach! He out coached Phil "The Zen Master" Jackson in the finals and went from scapegoat to hero in just one season. This same Doc Rivers was fired in Orlando after a 1 and 10 start just a year after being named Coach of the Year.
How soon the fickle finger of fate can turn on a coach. GM's feel they have to make some move and since it is hard to fire players and even harder to make the kind of trades that Danny Ainge made, they fire the coach to silence the calls for their heads as well. I have to hand it to the Celtics' organization. They didn't take the easy way out and dump Doc when fans all called for his head last season. Danny had a 5 year plan and he executed it to perfection. Maybe teams should be a little more patient and go with continuity over the quick fix.