I’ve never seen a coach before like Sam Mitchell.
I’ve never seen a coach who thinks he is the smartest man in the room. I don’t get it.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have had a legitimate chance to win or be in every single game they’ve so far this season.
But, Mitchell certainly doesn’t coach like it. He doesn’t coach like his team has a chance.
That’s what I see, at least. I went to the Minnesota-Philadelpha 76ers game a few weeks, before the Sixers had won a game, and I noticed to two completely different styles of coaching. Brett Brown, Philadelphia’s head coach, is in the absolute worst situation a head coach could be in with the roster he has in Philadelphia. On the other side, Mitchell has a roster that a lot of coaches would drool over to get the chance to coach.
But, Mitchell doesn’t make it seem that way. Despite the T’wolves escaping the game against the 76ers by the skin of their teeth, throughout the entirety of the game, Mitchell acted like a little, spoiled-rotten child on the bench. Complaining when his players made mistakes, throwing his hands in disgust when something went wrong.
You’d think it would be Brown doing that when one of his players made a mistake. Instead, Brown was too busy coaching, trying to win a game. He was animated on the sidelines, drawing up plays, cheering his young group on. Mitchell? Sulking lower in his seat with every tiny mistake his team made.
It’s been pretty obvious this season that Mitchell thinks he knows best. If some bench players are warming up, he will leave them in the rest of the game. This has been no more apparent than when it comes to Karl-Anthony Towns and the fourth quarter of a game. It’s clear that Mitchell loves Gorgui Dieng. But, Dieng is a colt and Towns is a thoroughbred when it comes to playing extended minutes and making plays when it matters most.
Most of the time, and I think a lot of people would agree, Dieng looks so lost on the court, and his production is spotty. I don’t get why Mitchell doesn’t think he can’t Dieng and Towns together? Oh, that’s probably because he needs to get Tayshaun Prince some fourth-quarter minutes, like it’s 2004 again. Towns is a versatile guy who can guard both fives and fours, but you already know this. Mitchell doesn’t.
His late-game situation coaching has to be the worst in the league. The lineup of Prince, Rubio, Dieng, Wiggins, and someone-not-named Towns, is not fooling anyone. For some reason, at the end of games, Mitchell doesn’t like to have any three-point shooting on the floor. Typically, the lineup has consisted of Rubio, Wiggins, Prince (to inbound the ball), Kevin Martin, and Dieng is just dreadful. No Nemanja Bjelica or Damjan Rudez, or Towns? Heaven forbid, Zach LaVine might be in the game.
I just don’t get it. If you want young players to learn, wouldn’t it be best if they were put in tough spots?
Yesterday was a pretty good example of bad coaching. Wiggins, Towns, or Rubio didn’t touch the floor in the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns. The only reason Minnesota was in the game was because LaVine got hot (but, he should play in the fourth quarter anyway), and Muhammad finally got some minutes, and showed he could be productive. I like Andre Miller, but that is not the guy you call for your backup in close games. This isn’t the playoffs, either.
If Glen Taylor still has a pulse, I would like to see Minnesota move in a different direction at the end of the season.
I don’t always agree that coaches win games.
But, I do agree that coaches can certainly lose games.
And Sam, stop being so damn condescending with the media.