We blogged earlier about the best coaches in the NBA.  The numbers show that the best coaches generally make their impact felt on defense, not offense.  A possible explanation is that players have less incentives to play defense, since they are paid mostly based on their offensive statistics.  Thus, a great coach is one who can get his players to commit play hard on the defensive end.

I wonder, however, if good coaches impact all players equally.  Can a good defensive coach (e.g. Thibodeau) make a good defensive player (e.g. Deng) into a great one?  Or, is the impact limited to making bad defensive players (e.g. Skiles on Monta Ellis) into average ones?  Perhaps each player has a physical limit on their defensive abilities, and the best coaching cannot improve a player beyond this point?  Or, is coaching defense more about system and tactics, instead of improving individual effort.  Any thoughts?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *