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Hollinger Noticed

At the very end of his P.E.R. Diem column today (Insider access needed), John Hollinger picked apart Eddie Jordan's coaching decisions at the end of the Knicks game. He had some of the same issues I did, with a few differences.

The focal point of Hollinger's rant was the sub Jordan made at the 5:40 mark. With the Knicks pulling closer, Jordan called on Dalembert to replace Willie Green (Jordan had been running a lineup with Thad at center prior to this sub). Hollinger makes the case that Speights should've been called on in that situation, since he was playing a strong game at the time.

Things started going downhill at the 5:39 mark, when the Sixers were up by 13 and Jordan decided he just had to play Samuel Dalembert. Leaving Marreese Speights -- the second-year man who had already scored 16 points and who, by the way, is second in the league in PER after three games -- on the bench, the Sixers scored one point in their next six trips.

Hollinger was close, but didn't quite get the point. Jordan should've brought in both Speights and Dalembert, and gone back to a big lineup, which worked for the Sixers all night long.

He did, however, hit the nail on the head when talking about the end of the game:

Using timeouts on both of those possessions also left the Sixers with none when New York tied the game with five seconds left. Out of one of those timeouts, Philly called the same play it had just run that resulted in a basket. That must have taken a while to explain. And how did New York tie the game in those final seconds? On a Chris Duhon layup after Philly pulled Elton Brand for defensive ace Royal Ivey ... while leaving Kapono in the game.

The main point of Hollinger's piece is that not only are players becoming accustomed to new coaches and new systems, but coaches are in the midst of a learning process as well. The win masked some questionable decisions, and you just have to hope Jordan will improve in these situations. Honestly, I'm shocked Hollinger was even watching.
by Brian on Nov 2 2009
Tags: Basketball | John Hollinger | Sixers |