5 NBA Players Who Will Benefit from Their Team's New Head Coach
Under the tutelage of their new coaches, players like Stephen Curry, Kevin Love and Luis Scola will improve upon their already impressive games and look to push each of their teams into the playoff hunt.
The Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets all hired new coaches in Mark Jackson, Rick Adelman and Kevin McHale respectively in order to better their teams.
Improvements made by each team's star, coupled with the addition of their new head coach should help to catapult each team into playoff contention within the next season or two.
5. DeMar DeRozan from Dwane Casey
Dwane Casey brings with him a defensive-minded approach, which was a key component in helping the Dallas Mavericks win the NBA championship last season.
The Toronto Raptors have been downright awful on the defensive end. Finishing as the worst defensive team the past two seasons, Casey is exactly what the Raptors need to help cure their woes on the defensive end.
Although the team is sure to benefit as a whole, the player that is likely to benefit the most from the new head coaching addition is DeMar DeRozan.
DeRozan is as athletically gifted as anyone in the game and has already put that on display with the earth-shaking dunks he throws down on the offensive end.
However, he has yet to utilize that athleticism on the defensive end.
That's where Dwane Casey comes into play. DeRozan is quick, explosive and lengthy. With the help of Casey, he will learn to put those tools to good use to become a ball hawk on the defensive end while still throwing down bombastic blasts on his opponents.
4. Kevin Love from Rick Adelman
The Minnesota Timberwolves are a team comprised of spare parts and are in need of someone to construct them into a well-oiled machine.
Bringing in Rick Adelman as the head coach will solve the "spare part" problem mentioned above. With plenty of coaching experience and a fast break style offense, he has all the parts he needs to make the bottom feeding T'Wolves a success. (Although it may take a couple years to do so.)
Kevin Love will be the main beneficiary of his new coach's presence, as he is tailor-made for Adelman's up-tempo offense. Outside of being an elite rebounder, Love can knock down the long ball and is a very gifted passer as well.
Showing Love vintage videos of Bill Walton's passing on the 1976-1977 Portland Trail Blazers would help him fulfill his potential as a great outlet passer.
Love corrals a tremendous amount of rebounds and his ability to start the fast break off of those rebounds could be a valuable piece in getting the Timberwolves moving in the right direction.
3. Pau Gasol from Mike Brown
While replacing Phil Jackson will certainly be a tough job, I believe that Mike Brown is up for the challenge.
Since the Los Angeles Lakers have an aging core, the defensive-minded approach that Brown takes to the game will be useful since solid defense can always be relied upon, even when an offense as gifted as the Lakers' fails.
Although defense is something that Brown has carried with him throughout his entire coaching career, his time with the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff taught him to put his big men to use as well.
While Brown's presence is sure to benefit both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, Gasol will benefit more.
Gasol was labeled by many as "soft" last season after the way he played in the playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks.
With Brown as head coach, Gasol is likely to get more touches in the post and put his array of post moves to good use, which will quiet all the doubters that he earned with his underwhelming playoff performance last season.
2. Stephen Curry from Mark Jackson
With the addition of Mark Jackson, one of the most legendary point guards ever to play the game, as their head coach, Stephen Curry should be ecstatic.
It is no secret that the young man nicknamed the "Babyfaced Assassin" for his deadly accurate three-point shooting is one of the purest shooters in the NBA today.
However, believe that, in order for him to reach his full potential, he needs to work on his decision-making as a point guard, and working hard under Jackson will surely help him in this area.
It will be interesting to see if Curry and Monta Ellis are able to play more symbiotically and develop better chemistry under one of the best floor generals to ever play the game.
1. Luis Scola from Kevin McHale
The hiring of Kevin McHale by the Houston Rockets should be a match made in heaven. Although Hakeem Olajuwon is often seen as the big man with the most dizzying display of post moves, McHale did in fact have the most post moves to pulverize his opponent with.
Bill Simmons described McHale's post moves best in his Book of Basketball, a great portion of the book devoted to one of the forgotten greats in NBA History.
Luis Scola is a gritty big man, who has great footwork and a soft touch on his jumper as well. Learning even three or four of McHale's 12-post moves (as stated in Simmons Book of Basketball) could help him to annihilate his opponents in the post.
Not to mention that he has one of the best kick out options in the game, with Kevin Martin being capable of raining down three-pointers from anywhere beyond the line.
Scola will also benefit from McHale by learning the nuances of the defensive side of the ball as well, since McHale was able to defend just about any of the legendary bigs you could throw at him during the era in which he played.
The Rockets' combination of youth and talent, coupled with McHale's priceless wisdom, will push them into the playoffs. Even in a deep Western Conference, they will be able to snag the seventh or eighth seed and will likely enter the playoffs as a dark horse candidate.