Sunday, November 7, 2010

Westphal should be dismissed

Kings coach Paul Westphal doesn't get it.

And it shows on the court. So right now, I'm calling it.

Fire Westphal.

Sure, I could wait until the All-Star break. Or for an 8-game losing streak. After all, the team is just 3-3.

But I'm not waiting.

Fire Westphal.

Why? Well, there are many reasons. Let's get to it:


What offense? Too many times, the offense consists of Tyreke Evans dribbling for the first 10 seconds, then darting into traffic, only to A.) throw up a bad shot B.) dish off an unbalanced pass to a lunging teammate C.) make a spectacular shot.

There is zero movement. Back-door plays are non-existent. There is not enough cutting, no moving of the ball from side-to-side.

A smart offense needs a philosophy of sharing and team basketball. Whether Westphal is preaching it or not, there is none of that evident on the court.

Good teams need discipline. Teams with DeMarcus Cousins really need discipline. There is no way Cousins should be firing up three-pointers or getting free reign to shoot with his current frequency.

Look at these numbers: He has hit just 18 of 46 shots in five games. That is an awful percentage for a skilled big man. It is also a sign that he is not clear about his role. Now, he's lost his starting job -- and despite claims to the contrary, I'd bet he isn't very happy about it. This is when a coach earns his salary. I'm not sure Westphal has the ability to handle the ramifications.

Speaking of roles, does anyone on the Kings know their role? Westphal used Carl Landry as his go-to guy against the Lakers, but he was a benched no-show against the Grizzlies, amassing a grand total of 19 minutes, 4 shots and 4 points and barely getting a sniff down the stretch. Landry has to be confused. How are you "the guy" one game and the "non-entity" the next?

Jason Thompson is another guy with a mystery role. He's now a backup small forward. How in the world did that happen?

Donte Greene is on milk cartons now, his once glorious potential completely wasted.

Players have no idea when they'll play or what their role should be. Westphal's rotations are so bizarre they border on random. And that is an awful recipe for a young team that needs structure.


Without Samuel Dalembert, the Kings are easily the worst defensive team in the league.

Not a single player seems fundamentally strong. Everyone reaches and pokes and gets called for silly fouls. Opposing teams shred the Kings from the 3-point line (opponents are shooting more than 40% on threes)

Tyreke Evans has been weak on defense early in the season, getting exposed by quicker point guards. Penetration is almost a given.

The Kings surrender points at an alarming rates. You knew this was going to be a problem when they allowed the Timberwolves to score 116 points in the opener.

Defense, like offense, is a philosophy. It's hard work. It's aggressiveness. It's moving your feet and being smart and helping teammates. None of this is evident on Westphal's team.


I'm saying yes. Sure, it's early to pull a move look like this. But here's a better question: Has anybody seen enough to think Westphal can take this team to the next level. I haven't.

This team needs someone with a clear philosopy and a disciplined approach. Someone who can bring structure and instill an unselfish attitude.

They need someone who can school Evans and Cousins about what they need to do to become great NBA players.

They need someone to inspire and teach.

Too much to ask? Maybe.

But I think the move has to be made.


Anonymous said...

Strangely, I agree with this... Westphal just hasn't shown me anything

Anonymous said...

You surely must give a replacement if you want to fire Westphal already.

Carl Landry was ineffective. He was completely outmatched by Zach Randolph and was a liability on the court. That's why he didn't play.

Donte Greene showed up to training camp out of shape and was surpassed by players, like Omri Casspi, who take nothing for granted and fight for their minutes. With Westphal's system, like it or hate it, Donte will get his chance, eventually. But that's on him.

Firing Westphal right now makes zero sense. Six games is hardly enough to judge any team, especially one of the youngest in the NBA.

Ron Wenig said...

I might go after Stan Van Gundy, although his sad sack face is a little tough to take.

Anonymous said...

totally agree, most kings fans are delusional though

Anonymous said...

Common on people, this team is not that good! Just because they won 3 games, it does mean that they can compete with great teams like the Lakers or good teams like the Grizzlies. This team does not play defense and fails behind in every game they have played. It will take another 2-3 years before this team can compete with good teams like Grizzlies. Firing Westphal will not change anything as the Kings are still a bad team.

TwoTone Publishing said...

interesting point about the offense and its over reliance on Tyreke's driving ability. i agree, BUT this, and a lack of defensive concentration from one of the league's youngest teams is no reason to recommend someone lose his job. to do so is simple-minded and gimmicky. sure, i read your post, and sure, i'm taking time to respond.

but this article as a whole is a salt and pepper sandwich: no substance.

Ron Wenig said...

This post has no substance? Well, it's just like the Kings offense and defense then.

Anonymous said...

How about this? If Kings are still not making any progress in the next 6 games then fire him! The 1st 12 games of the season are supposed to be the easiest. A loss to Minnesota tomorrow would be very alarming!

Rick in Cherry Valley, NY said...

A lot of players were injured in training camp and the preseason games, where a lot of teams get to know each other, the coaches get to teach a lot and build a system that they can all hone and refine, etc. We lost a lot of that "gel" time, and that really hurts, especially with a young team, like you mentioned. I think you just need to give Westphal some time to see if he can make it all happen. It might take a couple of years, but there is hope. I know that Petrie will take his time and make a decision if he sees some things that he doesn't like and things don't get corrected....

The last thing we need is a super strong coach who is going to try to 'break' the younger players.... See Musselman, Eric, as exhibit A. His heavy hand lost the players fast.

However, your points are well taken, but maybe slightly premature... As far as firing goes, I mean. You aren't wrong on your observations!

Westphal is no Adelman, that's for sure. I wish they had never let him go.....

Ron Wenig said...

My point is that I can't envision Westphal as the guy, based on what I've seen. He's had a year to imprint his philosophy on this team and I don't see one. Now I don't believe for a second that the Kings are ready to fire Westphal. I'm just saying that I would not want him to be the coach of a this team right now.

Anonymous said...

Westfail will be fired soon, just like his loserly career has dictated before. He sucks, he couldn't even be the head coach of a high school team, the guy was an assistant. The kings should have hired the head coach not the assistant. Westfail sucks, and all the naysayers will eat crow once he leads the kings to year after year of futility and the worst franchise record ever. No wonder Suns and Sonics fired him.

Anonymous said...

hello there thanks for your grat post, as usual ((o: