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Hiring a coach

Last night was an important turning point for the Celtics; they started Brandon Hunter, the second round draft pick, and he responded very well. (6-12 from the floor, 9 rebounds). Up until last night, John Connor had been giving people more or less the same minutes as O’Brien. It looks like that’ll change now.

However, he did have 15+ games with the team before then, which means we can compare apples and apples as far as his coaching and O’Brien’s. And boy, the result is illuminating.

With the current team, O’Brien went… roughly .500, as far as I can count. 8-8 or so; I might be off by a game either way. Connor, without making a whole lot of changes in terms of minutes, did — somewhat worse.

The question becomes this. If you have a team which is ready to contend for a championship, would you hire Jim O’Brien? You don’t want to develop the new kids, you want to take what you have and win. We can pretty much compare apples and apples, here, and I don’t see how anyone can argue that O’Brien was not getting a whole lot more out of these guys than Connor has.

2 Comments

  1. Carneggy Carneggy

    You’re much closer to the news source than me, but nothing I read about O’Brien’s firing (I’m sorry, ‘resigning’ at the time said that he was canned for not being a good coach or having a bad record – pretty much everything I saw said that he hit the ‘point of no return’ headbutting Ainge over trading large chunks of the roster (the last straw being the trade for Ricky Davis) and the direction/playing style of the franchise, said ‘I’m gone at year’s end’ to which Ainge said ‘why wait that long, there’s the door right now.’

    It wasn’t a question of whether or not O’Brien was doing the best job with the Celtics of their options; it was a matter of whether or not O’Brien was willing to coach the team how (and who) Ainge wanted them to be, and O’Brien’s even publically stated himself that he was at total odds with Ainge’s priorities – which included that Ainge did not feel that the Celtics would be able to get *better* than last year’s success without major changes. (Ainge has stated a preference to rebuild now for the long-term over trying like mad to fall short of the finals once more in the short term.)

  2. There has been some sentiment among a certain segment of fans that O’Brien was a bad coach, yes. Also, one of the owners made a comment to the effect that Harter’s defense was crippling the team earlier this week.

    But I didn’t say O’Brien was fired for being a bad coach, no.

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