Coaching Pet Peeves
Peeve #1: Yanking Guys' Minutes Around
This isn't to say that sometimes guys can play their way out of a role or even into a greater one, but these decisions can't be haphazard and certainly shouldn't be on a game to game basis. Thomas Robinson played his way out of the backup 4 role in Portland, but this was not a knee jerk reaction by Terry Stotts. He saw what Robinson was (and more importantly wasn't) giving them over the course of about 20 games and decided Meyers Leonard would be a better fit.
Contrast this with Brian Shaw in Denver, who seems to be juggling starting lineups, rotations and roles on a game to game basis. Is it really surprising that the Nuggets seem to be fraying at the edges with one player (Andre Miller) blowing up publicly and who knows how many grumbling behind the scenes? Larry Drew's recent performances also deserve a mention here, as game to game, who knows who is going to play for the Bucks? And for what purpose? They are deep lottery bound, yet have a few young guys with potential, who Drew seems intent on burying.
Peeve #2: Super Controlling Timeouts
Peeve #3: Crappy Vets/"Right Way" Guys
So far this season, we've seen this from a few coaches. Mike Brown's Alonzo Gee fetish, Jacque Vaughn 's use of Jason Maxiell and E'Twaun Moore at the expense of minutes for Andrew Nicholson, Mo Harkless and Victor Oladipo, as well as Ty Corbin giving Richard Jefferson so many minutes that the Jazz higher ups are rumored to be preparing to <strike>liquidate him</strike> send him to Cleveland for the right to waive Andrew Bynum.
But Shaw is guilty of one of the more impactful instances this season with his continued reliance on J.J. Hickson over Timofey Mozgov. Mozgov has been surpringly decent on both ends (especially in terms of protecting the rim). Hickson has been predictably bad, which has only been exacerbated by playing him out of position at center next to the equally underezied Kenneth Faried. Per NBAWowy, the Hickson/Faried frontline is -6pts/100Pos in 454 minutes while the Mozgov/Faried lineup is +10pts/100Pos in 110 minutes, now some of this is due Hickson/Faried starting games (and thus clocking more minutes against opposition first stringers), but that is still a massive gap in production, and continued use of this poorly conceived pairing possibly explains why over 80% of Denver's average deficit comes in the first quarter of games.
Peeve #4: Inability to Stagger Lineups
On the other hand, there are the coaches who get so caught up in "positions" to the point they find ways to not have their best lineups in the game. Monty Williams comes to mind for this, as he's only found a way to have his "point guards" Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans share the floor in any combination for about 12 minutes per game, despite the fact that the Pellies are just under +1oPts/100Pos with that combo on the floor. Even with the three guard lineup of Holiday, Evans and Eric Gordon, they are about +6Pts/100 which. And the Pellies "best 5" lineup of the three guards along side Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis is +9.5Pts/100Pos. Yes that lineup will never stop anyone, but is scoring about 130pts/100.
This is the kind of thing that should NOT be that complicated, especially given the NBA (and it's media partners) have provided coaches timing signposts with the 5 media timeouts + quarter break per half. Given the cast of thousands on NBA benches, wouldn't it behoove one of them to hold a rough "rotation" chart to help remind the coach to properly rotate his players?