Summer of Sund begins

I’d be amazed if you haven’t heard the news yet. Whichever direction the Atlanta Hawks go in now, Mike Woodson will not be a part of it. According to NBA.com’s Sekou Smith (first to report it, that I know of), Woodson was told by management that he will not be offered a new contract.

You can join the conversation with Jeff Schultz, ajc.com sports blogger  and AJC columnist, who’s  weighed in with more detailed reporting and opinion on the move.

So Long, So Short

No one can deny that the Hawks improved from year to year under Mike Woodson, and that is often the first thing out of the mouth of anybody who is not looking to cast him in a negative light. It can be and has been argued that his part in such improvement (going from 13 wins in his first year to 53 in this, his last) was not all, or even mostly why the team improved. One would also have to account for the moves made by former GM Billy Knight, and those of current GM Rick Sund. But that argument may be somewhat stale in the minds of many, and he does deserve credit for improvement in a number of ways. A team simply cannot improve from year to year without something going right for the guy in the suit on the sidelines.

The problem for Woodson is in the details, and in the postseason. Improvement as an end result (regular season victory total) is always good, but the result does not end with the regular season if your team is good enough. The Hawks struggled in the playoffs each time they went. Arguably, this team’s best showing under him was it’s first showing (2008), wherein they took eventual champion Boston to 7 games. As many NBA coaches have found out, you can win big in the regular season, but the postseason is where you are judged more closely. Weaknesses are exposed, strengths are exploited, and counter measures have to be taken. Under Woodson, the Hawks struggled with all three. Finally, his full body of work resulted in personal overall losing regular and postseason records.

Was it a matter of talent, experience, and effort on the court? I’d say that it was to an extent, but the other side of the coin asks whether or not use of talent was a problem as well. Either way, the Hawks go forward with a philosophy that will be different than it has been in the last six years. Mike Woodson did a lot for this team, but in the end, his full body of work was not enough for management to think he should be retained.

AJC beat writer Michael Cunningham describes the situation on his Hawks beat blog.

May Woodson L.I.P (Leave in Peace)

Whatever you may think of him, Mike Woodson was honest and had class. He never was one to publicly upbraid his players as some coaches have done. While some have done that (even to a degree of success), that was never his way. Furthermore, he was never that hard on us fans, leaving most (if not all) of his barbs for the media, when he chose to throw any.

Woodson’s resume may or may not be glowing, but it won’t keep him from getting another job. Nor do I believe that players or management will have much negative to say about him as he ships off. My guess is we’ll see him coaching somewhere else before long, maybe sooner than we expect. One place I can’t see him is on tv as some sports network’s analyst or commentator. But hey, you never know.

So long, Mike. Thanks for helping to bring winning seasons to Atlanta Hawks basketball.

The Continued Saga

Now you know this is far from over. Rick Sund is not known for his lightning quick strikes, the matching of Josh Smith’s contract offer from Memphis a couple of years ago notwithstanding. How long will he take to name a new coach? Will the Hawks be more discreet than in times past, and will they hit their mark, rather than strike out the way they used to? The rumors around the league after Billy Knight walked away (or was pushed, depending on what you believe), and that preceeded Sund’s hiring had to have been an embarrassment to the organization. Chances are, discretion will be the word of the day. Yet more questions abound. How long has Sund been planning to let Woodson go? I’ll go out on a limb and guess that few of us are willing to believe that he only came to a decision in the last 48-72 hours. What sort of coach might he be after, and will it be somebody he has worked with before?

Nobody knows, and there aren’t even any juicy false rumors to work with, yet. Sund seems like one who likes to take him time on a lot of things, but a quick strike here might be a good thing. Or will it? You’d almost have to think that the man has been doing his homework just in case Woody and the Hawks didn’t come through and show real improvement in the playoffs (which they didn’t). What do you think? Is moving relatively fast the way to go? Will the Hawks make a “splash” here, or will it be another subtle move that goes largely under the radar?

Also, what effect might this have on whether or not Joe Johnson decides to remain in Atlanta? Would he welcome a different coach, perhaps one who would modify his role? Or is he wanting to bolt no matter who comes in?

The Summer of Sund has begun. Stay tuned….

239 comments Add your comment

niremetal

May 14th, 2010
1:35 pm

My impression is that Sund has a priority list. He moves quickly on the things at the top of his priority list, especially if they need urgent attention. Things that he considers less important and/or less urgent, he lets slide. Thus, he didn’t move quickly through Chills’ negotiations because he prioritized Smoove higher,* and he didn’t move to sign other teams’ free agents last summer because he prioritized locking up our own free agents. He also didn’t see a particular need to move quickly on Smoove because he was restricted and the Hawks were going to match almost any offer for him (because let’s be real, no one was gonna offer Smoove the max). I don’t agree with that strategy, but it seems to be his M.O. when it comes to RFAs.

From that perspective, I’m not surprised that he announced a decision on Woody quickly. This was at the top of his priority list, something he knew was coming for awhile, and something he needed to take care of quickly so that he could start recruiting a replacement. I also am guessing that JJ will have his first serious offer from the Hawks as soon as the free agency period starts, since that will need urgent attention. I would be (pleasantly) surprised, though, if we saw movement on other fronts (trade, MLE signings, etc) while JJ’s situation is unresolved. And that’s my concern.

* Although as I’ve said before, I would be shocked if Chills’ agents didn’t have at least a general idea from preliminary negotiations about high the Hawks would go – and that it would be well short of what he could make overseas. Again, lunch meetings and phone calls between agents and management have to go on for awhile before a formal written contract offer is drafted.

Astro Joe

May 14th, 2010
1:49 pm

I’d be shocked if we read any credible rumors about potential coaches. He’s old school and I don’t envision him giving Marc Stein or Chad Ford a call to share anything regarding the next coach. I like it that way… there is no good reason to show your cards.

As I said on the previous blog, we should have very little if any competition, because I think that Chicago, NJ and the Clippers will wait until closer to the start of free agency before filling their open coaching jobs. If the Bulls (as an example) want to land Wade, they would seemingly offer him a chance to provide input into their next coach.

I’m sure that Sund’s phone is ringing off the hook as we write and read. But I expect him to be pretty deliberate. Given the low draft pick, there really isn’t a big need to hurry the process.

Mitun

May 14th, 2010
2:17 pm

when does the free agency begins?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Cunningham. Michael Cunningham said: AJC's fan blog: Summer of Sund begins http://bit.ly/dlWaNL [...]

Marcus

May 14th, 2010
2:39 pm

@Mitun – FA begins 12:01 am July 1st. NBA draft is 7 pm June 24th.
Hiring a new ATL Hawks coach is …… TBD.

Marcus

May 14th, 2010
2:53 pm

I think Sunds list includes coaches still in the playoffs. I guess this is like the NFL, where those coaches are off-limits until their playoff runs end.

atlienforlife

May 14th, 2010
3:02 pm

Avery Johnson would be a perfect fit for this team. People wanna say his dallas team falled in the finals. But, that was against a Dwayne wade who just went off. Furthermore; look at what has happened to dallas since, with a much better team then that one I must add. He coaches an uptempo style offensive, with a lot of ball movement, that would suite our team greatly. Also, his defensive schemes involve alot of man to man and zone, which would be strengths for us too. Sund, please throw the kitchen sink at Wade and hope he bites, if not there isn’t a better replacement then Johnson out there. Which isn’t bad, because avery would eliminate the iso crap. Plus, do what you have to do to bring J-chill back and please go sign a knock down 3 point shooter to come off the bence (maybe jason kapono)! I just don’t believe this team needs to be dismantled!

Melvin

May 14th, 2010
3:02 pm

What will Clyde talk about now? Is the biggest question of the summer. Oh, I forgot. Hawks should sign Sean Williams…

truthspitter

May 14th, 2010
3:18 pm

Sund is nothing special. He made 2 bad moves last summer signing Zaza and Marvin to long term deals. He has really made more bad moves than good moves since he has been here. Now I wanna see people point the finger at him like Knight 3 years from now when the

truthspitter

May 14th, 2010
3:18 pm

Hawks are still not in playoffs

4 Jacks

May 14th, 2010
3:32 pm

Now if Gearon and the other so called owners will sell the teams, (Hawks & Thrashers) that is the real problem, and until they do sell you would be better off saving your money unless you just like throwing it away. Until these morons are gone it won’t get any better. Atlanta fans deserve alot better than this pathetic ownership gives this city.

The Real Hawk

May 14th, 2010
3:42 pm

Hire Mike Brown!

Booga

May 14th, 2010
3:50 pm

Bill Laimbeer as next Hawks coach.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aigars Geruckis, joe young and JP54, NBA News. NBA News said: Summer of Sund begins – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) http://bit.ly/cmbPPO [...]

Melvin

May 14th, 2010
4:13 pm

Truthspitter,

Uh, are you implying that resigning Bibby to 3yr contract was a good move????

niremetal

May 14th, 2010
5:06 pm

Why is everyone so hung up on those contracts? Look at every NBA team and you’ll see far worse. And Marvin/Bibby/Zaza aren’t even getting paid that much considering that they’re rotation players. Geez.

MannyT

May 14th, 2010
5:08 pm

I do think Woody is a class guy. I hope he gets a top job this summer (or the TV thing if that is his preference for a year.) In the meantime, let the Sund-dialing begin.

Mr. Phil

May 14th, 2010
5:12 pm

@niremetal

The contracts would be fine if the players (outside of ZaZa who has been exactly as advertised and therefore might have some value) had not played so bad that any other team would have lost interest in most trade scenarios. It is not the contracts, but what kills is the fact that the level of play was so far below what would have been reasonably expected.

MannyT

May 14th, 2010
5:16 pm

@Ray–When are you going to start tweeting you blogs instead of letting MC do all of the 140 character lifting?

doc

May 14th, 2010
5:24 pm

looking back to some early pix of woody posted along with drew, the guy ate well during his tenure.

niremetal

May 14th, 2010
5:37 pm

Any of the 4 guys mentioned in the MSNBC blurb (Sam Mitchell, Dan Majerle, Monty Williams, Ty Corbin) would appeal to me, although Majerle less than the others. Monty Williams did an outstanding job filling in for McMillan in Portland this year, Mitchell is a guy who can “rally the troops” and also knows his X’s and O’s, and I like the idea of anyone who has worked under Jerry Sloan (as Corbin has). I certainly would want to know more about their vision for our offense, but that would be true of any new coach.

Then again, the source is Woj, who bats about .350 in general and .200 when it comes to Hawks stuff.

Melvin

May 14th, 2010
6:30 pm

Nire,

Comeon, we can’t have it both ways. If we are going to say those guys (Marvin, Bibby, ZaZa) contracts are good value then we can’t say those guys don’t have (equal) or any trade value…

wordsmithtom

May 14th, 2010
6:52 pm

From the AJC poll: 80 % agree that Woodson’s leaving is a good thing. No surprise here. Even Josh Smith’s comments about being sad it ended this way showed he wasn’t surprised and maybe a little upbeat. Things will change. When players quit, as this team did in the playoffs, it’s usually a chemistry thing, and you just can’t fire the team….

Again, we need a guard oriented coach. Avery Johnson. I’m fine with that. I’ve mentioned Mark Price. Doesn’t matter too much. Someone with a pedigree, someone who’s got cred so the young guys have to pay instant attention to them. That “deer in the headlights” look Woodson so often gave when players quit listening was telling. We need a guy who will throw chairs and pitch a bitch if necessary. We don’t need a wholesale housecleaning.

I’m relieved that Sund didn’t waste time with this necessary decision. Thanks for your efforts Woodson. You’re a good guy; you deserve another shot another place. But, for this team to move to another level, we need a guy who’s NOT A NICE GUY. One what’s a AHOLE…to anyone who doesn’t commit to team play. The real players here will appreciate that kind of coach. Young men want discipline, if it’s equal. From what I’ve read, it has been equivocal under Woodson. Sorry, that don’t get the rabbit.

Looking forward with a sigh of relief that this didn’t drag out for a couple months.

MannyT

May 14th, 2010
7:42 pm

@doc – you never hear about a coach hiring a chef to prepare his meals. Maybe a few more fruits & veggies would have put those coaching synapses on a higher level ;-)

niremetal

May 14th, 2010
8:00 pm

Melvin,

Whether a player has trade value is contextual. I agree that each of those three players might have trade value to specific teams (especially Zaza). The problem is that most teams willing to trade away a star are only willing to do it if they get back 1) another star; or 2) expiring contracts. They are almost never willing to take on veterans with long-term contracts unless that player is a bona fide star, because those types of contracts make it harder for a team to rebuild. Thus, even if a player has a reasonable contract, a team whose goal is to rebuild (which is nearly always the case with teams that trade away All-Stars without getting an All-Star back) would not necessarily be interested in acquiring that player.

Now could we trade Marvin to a team like Phoenix in exchange for someone like Channing Frye? Probably, because the Suns need a new SF more than they need another center. Could we trade him to get Amare? Probably not, because if the Suns can’t keep Amare, they probably will decide to start blowing up the team and rebuild, and Marvin’s contract would prevent them from doing that.

For the same reason, if JJ walks and the Hawks decide it’s time to rebuild, they probably will try to trade Marvin and Josh in exchange for unwanted players with expiring contracts because their contracts make it tough for them to rebuild going forward. Right now, though, they probably would only be willing to trade them in exchange for players that actually would improve the team.

Thus, there are lots of factors that go into whether a player has “trade value” beyond simply how much the player is earning.

kwooden1

May 14th, 2010
8:21 pm

Nire, can the HAWKS offer Chills more than whats specified in his current Qualifying Offer?

I would definitely like to have him back to replace Marvin in the starting line-up. He looks like the best SF available right now. (outside of a trade)

MannyT

May 14th, 2010
8:24 pm

@nire – yet another reason why I hope the next CBA triggers changes in trade rules. NBA trades are amost always lopsided.

MannyT

May 14th, 2010
8:36 pm

@kwooden1 – Hawks can offer Chills up to max b/c they have his Bird rights. Prob won’t offer him much b/c they can match any offer. He’s restricted FA.

kwooden1

May 14th, 2010
8:58 pm

MannyT is it better for him to wait until next summer when the CBA is up to come back to the NBA or is it better for him to find a NBA team this summer? In my mind it makes sense for him to stay in Greece one more year and make some more money. I don’t think his value to any NBA team will change because of another year away from the NBA. He might make a few million less after the CBA, but it probably wouldn’t offset the difference he would lose in not going back to Greece this summer.

I would definitely like to have Chills back but it doesn’t look like its going to happen.

Astro Joe

May 14th, 2010
9:22 pm

Sam Mitchell? Well, I’m sure that he would be affordable. Here’s what I don’t understand. If Portland runs an iso-based offense that hasn’t proven effective in consecutive playoffs (according to Hollinger), why would we take someone from that staff? Corbin is an interesting name but I’d like to know how Sloan’s disciples have faired in head coaching jobs. My guess is that running Sloan’s offense with precision takes time, a great teacher and attentive students. I like Manny’s suggestion from the other day… Elston Turner from’s Adelman’s staff (going all the way back to Sac-town). Mario Elie has assisted several notable coaches. And of course, my personal campaign for Keith Smart.

Astro Joe

May 14th, 2010
9:28 pm

kwooden1

May 14th, 2010
9:34 pm

Nire in terms of your statements several days ago about the HAWKS needing another 20/per scorer (especially in the Playoffs) and Smoove is our trade bait; I agree with getting Amare maybe Bosh but that is it. Boozer doesn’t help us at all against Orlando or Celtics/Cleveland/Chicago and Nowitzki is going nowhere. Amare is the only one that really makes sense because Horford can play PF, with Bosh Horford still has to play C. I really think that getting Amare or Bosh is unrealistic so, we are going to have to get our 20/per scorer from within. I think Horford is that guy. He really only needs to average 4 more attempts a game to score about 20/per right now. He’s made very consistent improvement. 12-15ft jumpshot and solid right hook are quality moves right now. He should add a consistent up and under, along with fade away jumpshot this summer.

I think we really need a PG and SF. I would really like Chills to come back because he would be great at the SF position. I haven’t totally figured out what I would like to see happen in terms of PG, but we need to pickup another guy up in the summer and make Bibby, Teague and ?? battle it out for the starting position. I like Teague a lot but his jumpshot release point is to low for a guy his height in my opinion and he only has a set shot from 3. I would look at Felton, Toney Douglas, Duhon, Steve Blake,Will Bynum, maybe some others. We also need a productive PF come off the bench. Joe Smith might have been that guy but I couldn’t tell in the minutes he played. If we don’t get Chillz the SF position is going to be a problem, because we need an upgrade from Marvin/Evans.

That’s what I’ve got for now.

GO HAWKS

niremetal

May 14th, 2010
10:55 pm

kwooden1,

He really only needs to average 4 more attempts a game to score about 20/per right now.

Things like that sound simple, but they don’t take into account how time consuming and difficult it is to create quality touches for big men. I’ve been reading one of Phil Jackson’s books recently (More Than a Game) and he talks about how difficult it is to get the ball to a center. The ball doesn’t usually get across halfcourt until there’s about ~18 seconds on the clock. The guard doesn’t get to the top of the key ready to initiate the play until ~14. Then, if you want to get it to the big man, who have to swing it to a player who has a good angle for an entry pass. Then, there often is jockeying underneath so that the big man can position himself for the entry pass. Sometimes, that can take so much time that the wing who was trying to make the entry pass has to give up and create something off the dribble in order to make sure a shot goes up before the shot clock expires. The result: Even though it’s a high-percentage shot if you DO get the pass into a big man, running post up plays generally results in 1 wasted possession where a player has to take a hurried shot for every 1 possession where the post-up actually occurs and results in a good shot. Working the ball through the high post isn’t a heck of a lot better, because that far from the basket, your big man generally is no more efficient than your wings.

I thought that was interesting, because you see it all the time if you think about it. You see it all the time, where a wing spends several seconds of the shot clock looking to feed the ball to the big man, and then sees the clock is down to 7 and then forces a shot or makes a not-productive perimeter pass instead.

Big Ray

May 14th, 2010
11:12 pm

MannyT ,

I honestly don’t know how to do the twitter thing, as far as the blog is concerned. That, and twitter annoys me. But that doesn’t mean I won’t find a way to weave it in somehow.

Astro Joe ,

All I want is a smart hire. Cheap is not a priority (of course, it ain’t my money). Keith Smart could be good, or Elston Turner. Possibilities abound.

Dr. Phil ,

Marvin, Zaza, and Bibby all were signed to contracts before the had a rough year. Zaza was actually pretty good throughout the year, but he was overmatched in some situations. Bibby got worse as age has caught up with him. Marvin simply regressed, period. But the contracts came before all that happened. Hindsight is always 20/20. I think part of the issue was that Bibby worked out pretty well for Woody and the team (and Woody wanted him back in the worst way), but his decline was somewhat of an expected by-product. The issue was not having an option at pg. Teague was not brought along with any sense of urgency whatsoever, Law was traded away after frequent injuries and Woody’s doghouse treatment, and Jamal is NOT a pg.

As far as Marvin, who knew he would get worse?

Big Ray

May 14th, 2010
11:15 pm

kwooden1 ,

As tantalizing as Amare has been, there have been conjectural issues with bringing him here (which we won’t be able to do). First, neither he nor Bosh will play center. You can continue to pencil Horford in at the pivot if we got either guy. It’s why the Suns have been through Kurt Thomas, Brian Skinner, Shaq, and now Frye (go figure). Amare doesn’t even want to play center, whereas Horford has no issues with it, and will do what the coach and team asks of him.

Second, Amare has something in common with Josh Smith: both need a point guard, and a good one at that. So I agree when you say we need a pg. Absolutely…

mykhalc

May 14th, 2010
11:17 pm

yep…Marvin needs to see the bench!!!

Big Ray

May 15th, 2010
12:15 am

Hot dang!

Mykhalc is back!!

kwooden1

May 15th, 2010
12:44 am

Nire, excellent observation. Looking at Orlando’s statistics, Howard didn’t even average 11 shots a game, but he made up for it by averaging 10 free throws per. Horford will have to become a much more efficient player to average 20/per.

Ray, Nire our pg issue is a real problem, because Bibby is very good at entry passes and getting the team into a solid offensive set, but at this point he’s really just a spot up shooter. Though his game is a mirror of Jason Williams game. If we look at Bibby as taking on the same role as Jason Williams we could be in decent spot next year. (if we can find an adequate starting PG) Teague will really have to make some strides this summer to be what we need. And we will still need more from the SF position.

Ed

May 15th, 2010
2:52 am

Nire, your choices for possible coaches were all good except Sam Mitchell, IMHO. I simply prefer new blood as opposed to any retread. Someone else mentioned concerns about hiring Monty Williams as he comes from Portland with their ISO dominated offense. Being an assistant for a coach doesnt’ necessarily mean you agree with his offense. The more telling sign is how he carried himself and handled the team when he had his chance.

mykhalc

May 15th, 2010
4:48 am

wassup Big Ray!!! my man is kickin’ his blog!!! nice work Ray!!! ok…who’s the next HC???LOL

vava74

May 15th, 2010
6:43 am

Good riddance. It’s a shame that he was not sacked earlier this year when it was obvious that he was not able to manage a better roster.

All players in out team were at least serviceable and the raw, crude fact is that Woody’s ability as a coach is mediocre.

I disagree with anyone who believes he will have a long career as a head coach.

I think he will coach ONCE more and crash and burn since there is no way that any other franchise will be as patient as the Hawks.

The simple fact is that he only lasted this far on account of a bizarre series against BOS where all the issues which make him a poor coach were already evident.

However, back then – with Chills working the baseline and hustling off bench – the roster was more balanced (although weaker) and “auto regulated” itself better on court.

Personally, I gave him a chance for him to evolve along with the team: I hope that he also had some “organic growth” in him.

As the year passed, he proved beyond any doubt that he didn’t and our playoff performance was the culmination of a bad job (with a lending hand from a fractured and unmotivated roster – for which, in the end, he was also responsible).

O'Brien

May 15th, 2010
9:32 am

So according to MC’s sources, there was some resentment in the Locker room because woody played favorites. Imagine that.

I think it goes back to what somebody said a few days ago. veteran guards on one side, bigs on the other, everybody else in the middle.

As for the next HC, I am not a fan of Dwayne Casey. I would like to see thibodeau interviewed, although he is a defensive coach. My question for him would be who would be on his coaching staff to help with the offense.

I think Larry drew deserves an interview too. He should know first hand what our issues are.

PD

May 15th, 2010
10:07 am

Man the Hawks have a lot of things to deal with this summer. 1st and foremost should be finding a coach. If they resign JJ as planned he has to make commitment to truly this team. But, He does not ink the paper until the Hawks find a good coach. They need to work quickly so they can build a roster and bench for the upcoming season.

They also have to figure out how to keep winning through this process. It is imperative!!!!!!! This team cannot be lottery again.

vava74

May 15th, 2010
11:32 am

FOX SPORTS POLLIs this a good decision for the Hawks?

32%
Yes; they need a change
68%
No; he’s made them relevant again

The above seems to indicate that the normal NBA fan has absolutely no idea on what is going on in the court technically wise.

vava74

May 15th, 2010
11:36 am

And the commentaries made by the reads are of a frightening lack of knowledge…

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/atlanta-hawks-mike-woodson-coach-051410

vava74

May 15th, 2010
11:39 am

vava74

May 15th, 2010
11:41 am

I like to “rain on wet”! Here’s Charley Rosen a few days ago on Antawn Jamison (after the 5th game):

“Also business as usual was Antawn Jamison’s inept defense that Boston repeatedly exposed with successful post-ups by Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. “

Mitun

May 15th, 2010
12:45 pm

I believe Woody shouldn’t been fired because he was a good coach that help us back into the playoff. I think it’s because that we do not have a good GM, look at TD with the Falcons, he makes some good decision for his roster and he helped the falcons tremendously.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

May 15th, 2010
1:53 pm

ah put a sock in it Mitun. His deficiencies as a coach far outweighed his strengths and like O’brien said – the locker room broke into factions. A divided team is not conducive to taking it to the ‘next level’ which is championship contention. I am grateful for his service to the ball team but I can see the forest from the trees and I won’t let loyalty cloud my judgment. If he was somewhat imaginative we would have swept Da Bucks and at least took the Magic to game six.

vava74

May 15th, 2010
2:00 pm

Another gem from Bill Simmons @ ESPN:

“I once heard a great story about Game 6 of the 2006 Finals, when Miami was trying to clinch the title in Dallas, from someone who has seen the unedited footage of Miami’s huddles in the second-half timeouts. Pat Riley basically stopped coaching. Threw out his X’s and O’s. Quit giving advice. Stopped drawing up plays.

So what did he do? He screamed at his guys like a boxing trainer. You’re tougher than them! YOU’RE TOUGHER THAN THEM! Don’t let up! They are ready to quit! They are ready to fold! Keep attacking them! Keep getting to the rim! Keep knocking their asses down! No layups! No dunks! Stay together! YOU ARE TOUGHER THAN THEM! YOU ARE TOUGHER THAN THEM! That’s what he did for the entire second half. Eventually, his players believed him.”

With Woody we did not have neither the X’s and O’s nor the inspirational speeches that make a good coach.