Mid-season coaching changes have proven to make or break teams, especially in the NBA.
Last season, the Portland Trail Blazers started off as one of the hottest teams in the Western Conference. But after a downward spiral led them to firing coach Nate McMillan and a near roster overhaul, they missed the Playoffs and are sitting in the midst of a rebuilding phase this season.
The Brooklyn Nets, unfortunately, find themselves in the same situation.
Following a red-hot 11-4 start to the regular season, Brooklyn is currently boasting a 14-14 record, dropping 10 of their last 13 games and just barely inching into the playoff picture as the eighth seed over the Philadelphia 76ers.
And after general manager Billy King officially announced the firing of head coach Avery Johnson in a press conference on Thursday, there is only one plausible replacement as the long-term head honcho in Brooklyn:
Stan Van Gundy.
Aside from his overly enthusiastic personality and passion for the game, Van Gundy's offense would be perfect to run in a system revolving around a star point guard and a more-than-capable big man.
This season, Deron Williams has posted the worst stats in his highlighted NBA career. It's taking him 14 shots to average 16.6 points per game, and he's shooting an abysmal 39.8 percent from the field and 29.5 percent from downtown—the worst among all other top tier PGs not named Rajon Rondo. He's also averaging only eight assists per game, which is the worst since his rookie season.
In an SVG-designed offense, the ball would move from the inside out, utilizing Brook Lopez to his fullest post potential, as opposed to the isolation offense Johnson was running. Williams-Lopez pick-and-roll situations would become harder to defend, and the free-flowing system would get D-Will back into the carefree game that we've been accustomed to seeing him in.
Van Gundy's offense would also call on more of the Nets' underused bench players.
Mirza Teletovic, the international superstar, would serve as a Ryan Anderson-esque stretch four alongside Lopez or Andray Blatche, and MarShon Brooks' superior offensive skill set would not go unused as it has under coach Johnson.
SVG has also had his share of personalities to deal with. He dealt with Dwight Howard in Orlando for the longest time and Dwyane Wade for a short period in Miami. Van Gundy could easily taper the situation in Brooklyn.
There are a number of choices out there for the Nets to look at.
While you can count Jerry Sloan out, Portland's former coach, Nate McMillan, is still out of a job. Brian Shaw is still looking for a head coaching opportunity, and who could count Phil Jackson out of the situation? The list goes on for possibilities in Brooklyn, but only one thing is for sure:
Stan Van Gundy is the guy for the Nets.
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