05/24 02:31 CDT NBA Quick Hits: 5 questionable coaching decisions
NBA Quick Hits: 5 questionable coaching decisions
By BRIAN MAHONEY
AP Basketball WriterDeciding who plays, and when they don't, is one of the
toughest parts of coaching.
Sometimes coaches stick with a player too long. Sometimes they have too much of
a quick hook.
Indiana's Frank Vogel was still being criticized Thursday, long after he sent
the Pacers out on the floor for the game's final possession in Miami without
Roy Hibbert - and that wasn't even the first time he took heat this postseason
for subbing out his big man.
From costly changes to untimely timeouts, here are some of the questionable
coaching maneuvers in this year's playoffs.
Frank Vogel, Indiana, Eastern Conference finals, Game 1. Vogel took Roy Hibbert
off the floor for Miami's final possession in favor of a smaller, quicker
lineup that could make switches. But when he'd done the same thing on the
previous possession, LeBron James simply drove right to the rim for a basket
without the 7-foot-2 shot blocker standing in his way. With no Hibbert and no
time to do anything else, James went right to the basket again on the last
play, making a layup just before time expired for a 103-102 overtime victory.
Vogel would later say that next time, Hibbert would probably be on the floor in
Mike Woodson, New York, Eastern Conference semifinals, Game 4. The Knicks won
54 games and the Atlantic Division title on the strength of a smaller lineup
that utilized two point guards and Carmelo Anthony as the power forward. Not
only did he scrap it with his team trailing 2-1, he practically forgot all
about guard Pablo Prigioni, who played only 3 1/2 minutes off the bench after
helping the Knicks go 16-2 following his move into the starting lineup with 18
games left in the regular season. The big lineup didn't help with rebounding,
the Knicks losing the battle on the boards 54-36 in a 93-82 loss that left them
one defeat from eventual elimination.
Mark Jackson, Golden State, Western Conference semifinals, Game 1. Jackson
played star guard Stephen Curry, who has been plagued by ankle injuries, 58
minutes in the opener against San Antonio. Curry finished with 44 points and 11
assists in a 129-127 double-overtime loss, and the workload may have
contributed to his struggles the rest of the series. Curry was limited to just
18.2 points per game and 36 percent shooting in the final five games.
Vogel, Indiana, Eastern Conference semifinals, Game 2. The Pacers were 15
minutes from a 2-0 lead in New York before a curious timeout and substitution
completely changed the momentum. They had just taken a 64-62 lead on the
strength of a 10-4 run when Vogel called time, removing Hibbert during the
break. Carmelo Anthony drove to the open lane for baskets on the next two
possessions, kicking off a 30-2 run as the Knicks went on to a 105-79 victory.
Vinny Del Negro, Los Angeles Clippers, Western Conference first round, Game 6.
Del Negro played Jamal Crawford, runner-up for the Sixth Man of the Year award,
just 12 1/2 minutes, about 18 below his average, in a 118-105 loss to Memphis
that wrapped up the series. Crawford had missed his first five shots, but he's
one of the league's streakiest shooters and capable of rebounding with five
straight makes. Instead, Del Negro went with some infrequently used
combinations in what turned out to be his final game as Clippers coach.