Marc Iavaroni: Just How Bad Was This Guy?
Old 08-12-2009, 11:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Matthew Noe via 3 Shades of Blue Blog
Thrown into the deep end, with nary a fin or scuba accessory to help...yet he was SO eagerly anticipated, SO wholeheartedly endorsed by Jerry West, and SO the buzz as the "next big thing" around the NBA world that we were all sure that his reputation and the hype surrounding his hire would bear the first fruit of success in the post-Fratello era. What were we thinking??? And SO much more importantly, what was he thinking? What in the &^%$#* was Jerry West thinking??

Guilty disclosure: I bought into the hype. I was in favor of the hire at the time. Young, talented lead assistant, made of elbows when he played, seemed to have the cognitive hardware, had the D'Antoni/Riley/etc. learning pedigree....boy do I feel dumb. D. U. M. B. There were rumblings of an elitist sort of attitude or perspective from Iavaroni almost from the very beginning....but no matter the (lack of?) coachability of the players he was handed, there is a list of things that he did that cannot help but lead one to believe that this guy was just WAY out of his element trying to be an NBA head coach when the title was bestowed upon him:

-TWO WORDS: CASEY JACOBSEN. These two obviously must have gotten along swimmingly in their short tenure together in Phoenix, 'cuz Iavaroni gave this guy floor time in exorbitant amounts...enough for all of us to feel tortured...watching Casey J. play was kinda like watching a dumb drunk fratrat try to dance on one of those old MTV Spring Break/Jersey Shore/college drunk shows. It was funny until you realized that there were going to be negative consequences for all involved...but you still couldn't turn away, 'cuz you just HAD to see what happened next. A glacier could have blown by this guy. And his "specialty"? Three point shooting? This guy could have constructed a full-scale model of the Great Wall with all those bricks. Oh, and by the way, HEISLEY HAD TO PERSONALLY SEND DOWN AN EDICT TO IAVARONI TO MAKE HIM STOP GIVING CASEY SO MUCH BURN. That is sad, sad, sad.

-Pick and roll defense (defense in general, but p-n-r in specific). Who in the name of all that is holy ever heard of telling your big consistenly to "play zone" on a pick and roll? Sure, the Grizzlies didn't exactly have a team full of Bill Russells, but playing zone on a pick and roll? That is the most running scared, overly conservative, "I'll just try to minimize the damage" defensive tactic/strategy of which I have ever heard. I don't think "harebrained" is an overstatement. Oh. And he also tried to shade his perimeter guys to send drivers/penetrators to the middle, 'cuz that's where the help was. WOW that's absurd.

-Best for last. It's the best, because this really, really goofy coaching move contributed, at least in part, to the current makeup of the NBA landscape as a whole. From the beginning of the season, Iavaroni decided to play Pau Gasol out at the elbow (where, by the way, Pau can make shots-don't get me wrong) and Darko Milicic on the low block, instead of the other way 'round. Pau Gasol-top five low post offensive player in the NBA? Debatable, but most likely. Darko? HAHAHHAHHAHAHAHHAHA. If it were a shotput/hook shot/airball competition, maybe. Now, there's no way that I mean to say that Pau's time in Memphis wasn't coming to its natural end anyway, or that the Grizzlies might have been a playoff team that season, or any such foolishness-but playing these two where he played them exacerbated Pau's discontent, I'm sure (and who could blame him in this situation), and made the team even worse than it might otherwise have been.

I had the chance to meet Iavaroni once or twice, and he was a gregarious, nice, funny, guy (and a cyclist, and that helps him in my book anyway).

I wish him the best in Toronto, but I must say that he did NOT help the Grizzlies forward...he took a ship that was pinballing from sandbar to sandbar anyway and ran it into the deepest nastiest mud one could imagine.

Just wait for the next in this short series of "just how bad was this guy".....
Source - Just How Bad Was This Guy? | 3 Shades of Blue
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Reading that article made me realize that the guy writing it is being a dick

Ivaroni might not be great, but nobody that coaches in the NBA is an idiot. Period.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A lot of this is a bitter Grizzlies fan looking to the coach as the scape goat.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Im glad Memphis is getting bitter Grizzlies fans as well
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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hmm, outside of Gasol, who did the Grizzlies really have?

Cheers
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, I mean really...D'Antoni, as great as he is, is an illustration of a great coach with a great track record who can't get it done with a shit roster(Knicks). Coaching is half the puzzle, roster is the other half. Iavaroni only has one half of the puzzle in Memphis.
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
-Pick and roll defense (defense in general, but p-n-r in specific). Who in the name of all that is holy ever heard of telling your big consistenly to "play zone" on a pick and roll? Sure, the Grizzlies didn't exactly have a team full of Bill Russells, but playing zone on a pick and roll? That is the most running scared, overly conservative, "I'll just try to minimize the damage" defensive tactic/strategy of which I have ever heard. I don't think "harebrained" is an overstatement. Oh. And he also tried to shade his perimeter guys to send drivers/penetrators to the middle, 'cuz that's where the help was. WOW that's absurd.
We'll your big crowd the lane (Gasol and Warrick) So that the perimeter players can continue defending the guards from the outside to protect from any wide open kickouts.

Nothing wrong with that, simple good defense.
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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don't really know the whole memphis situation, but some coaches are just better as an assistant coach. regardless of his failures as an head coach, he's experienced, and that's what we need with our current coaching staff.
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm not much of a fan of Iavaroni but i have more confidence in him then i do in Jay,
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jackson Filth View Post
don't really know the whole memphis situation, but some coaches are just better as an assistant coach. regardless of his failures as an head coach, he's experienced, and that's what we need with our current coaching staff.
He's experienced alright.....at failure. The theme of the coaching staff.
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
He's experienced alright.....at failure. The theme of the coaching staff.
He wasn't exactly a bust in his other stops.

I thought Toronto's defense looked much better after he was brought in to have a look last season. Being a head coach is a completely different kettle of fish.
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuCa00795 View Post
hmm, outside of Gasol, who did the Grizzlies really have?

Cheers
Oj Mayo is promising, and Rudy Gay's a pretty good secondary scorer...Memphis just sucks.
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