Although there are some amazing basketball players who play a key part in winning games, it could be argued that the most important thing is to have a good coach. The sport has evolved over time and as the game progresses it changes strategically as well. A good coach is one that can innovate and think about the changes teams need to incorporate to stay one step ahead of the ever developing game.
One such coach is Gregg Popovich of San Antonio Spurs. Even though the Spurs lost to the Los Angeles Clippers during the first round of the play-offs this year, you can never write them off because they have such an amazing comeback ability. This is down to the coaching style of Popovich. When they seemed down and out a couple of years ago, they came back and won the title the next season. The coach is able to get the best out of his players each year. What they may lack in individual skill they make up for in teamwork. And the team seems to be maturing and gelling more and more each year. Popovich was the first coach to realize the league’s dependence on overloading styles of defense, and introduced a team-oriented scheme that stressed side-to-side ball movement. Many people have since tried to replicate this style but have found it difficult.
Someone who may be close to emulating Popovich’s innovative style of coaching is Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks (see below). He is the former assistant of Popovich and it has been said that he may soon push the boundaries and develop a new style of play. With the Hawks, Budenholzer has taken an odd-fitting team and turned them into a thrilling and creative offensive force. He has layered an already offensive scheme with multiple tweaks to throw assuming defenses off the scent. His schemes also vary a lot so it is hard for the other team to second guess what he may do.
Although these coaches are very highly regarded, fans shouldn’t get too excited just yet. It would be fair to say that over the next few seasons they can expect to see great things from these two teams as the new styles develop. But with Spurs at 10/1 with betfair to win the NBA Championship at the time of writing, and Hawks at 28/1 with other firms, fans will need to show some patience.