Minnesota Timberwolves: 5 Coaching Candidates Better Than Sam Mitchell
Sam Mitchell was the latest coach interviewed by the Minnesota Timberwolves. While Mitchell could work, I don't think he is the best candidate.
Mitchell coached the Toronto Raptors, and they weren't half bad. He won the 2006-07 NBA's Coach of the Year Award, and the Raptors won their only division title in franchise history. The Raptors raised some eyebrows when they fired him in the fall of 2008. They were off to an 8-9 start, but they weren't terrible by any means.
Essentially, Mitchell is a solid coach. He has gotten results, but there have been questions about how he well he relates to players.
Accordingly, I don't think he would fit for the Timberwolves.
Mitchell has history with the Wolves. He scored the first points in team history, and he is often credited with mentoring Kevin Garnett. Couple his history with his coaching credentials, and Mitchell has a fine resume.
However, if he can't relate to the Wolves' young players, how are they ever going to win? The Wolves need to find a coach that the players will believe in, and I have compiled a list of five guys who would be better fits for the Wolves.
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Bernie Bickerstaff would be a solid, safe pick for David Kahn.
Bickerstaff has coached in the NBA for 25 years. He knows how the game is played, and he knows how to manage his players.
Unfortunately, he hasn't gotten very good results.
Bickerstaff has an underwhelming 415-517 record as a head coach for four different teams. When he hasn't been a head coach, Bickerstaff has been an assistant. Last season, he was an assistant to Nate McMillan for the Portland Trailblazers.
Although he is a half-court coach, Bickerstaff could help the young Wolves grow in the league. He may not be the flashiest pick, but he could fit right in.
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Larry Brown is one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. Unfortunately, he hasn't exactly succeeded everywhere he's coached.
Nevertheless, Brown could teach the Minnesota Timberwolves a thing or two. Brown knows how to win, and the Wolves do not. With his guidance, they might actually know what a 30 win season without Kevin Garnett looks like.
That may be a little greedy, but it could happy.
Brown is a defensive-minded coach, and the Wolves could use a bit of that mindset. Although the personnel might not be best, the Wolves could use a little more toughness of the defensive end of the floor.
Brown is also notoriously tough on rookies and point guards. This could be a great way for Ricky Rubio to learn how tough the NBA game actually is.
Brown has been run out of town on multiple occasions. That being said, the Wolves could use someone that has the intensity that Brown has. It would be a short-term fix to a long-term project, but Brown could help the Wolves move in the right direction.
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Don Nelson is widely considered a creative tactical coach.
That is exactly what the Minnesota Timberwolves need. They have been stuck with mediocrity for too long. With Nelson, they could finally be exciting to watch, and the Wolves might start winning games.
Sure, Nelson doesn't help with the Wolves' most glaring weakness (defense), but that doesn't matter. With some solid coaching, Nelson could help these players grow, and they might gain enough confidence to start winning with some consistency.
Nelson is a players coach, and that could be perfect for the Wolves' youth. He will allow them to mature as players while helping them win games now. With Nelson at the helm, the Wolves could be one of the most entertaining teams in the league next season (whenever that may start).
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Terry Porter was a solid player in the NBA, and he is also a solid head coach.
Although he underachieved as the Milwaukee Bucks' head coach, Porter was doing a solid job for Phoenix in the 2008-09 season. His coaching philosophy didn't quite fit the Suns' system, so he was ousted, even though he was 28-23 as a coach.
Porter would bring a defensive mindset to the Wolves, which would definitely help the team. He will also allow them to run, like he did for Phoenix in 08-09. This combination would allow him to become pretty popular amongst the players. If that happens, the Wolves might start winning some games.
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Mike Woodson is another defensive-minded coach that could change the Minnesota Timberwolves' attitude.
Although the personnel isn't the greatest for a half-court coach, he could allow them to run. As long as the team commits to defense. If the players do that, Woodson will most likely let them run freely on offense.
The Wolves were terrible on defense last year, and they could use a tough-minded coach like Woodson. If he is able to control the team's mindset, he could make a serious difference for the franchise.
Woodson is a solid NBA coach, and he wouldn't be a bad choice for the T-Wolves.