Fwd: Nate McMillan -- Underrated Third Place Coach Of The Year


Golden State Warriors at Portland Trailblazers

The Portland Trailblazers' coach, Nate McMillan. (Source: Yardbarker.com)

On the front page of FanSided I had the following:

First off, congrats to Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks for winning Coach Of The Year. Without a doubt, the dude deserved it. As everyone likes to point, he took a team that started last year 3-29 and without any real significant personnel additions, turned them into this season’s 50-win team. We all knew they’d be good, particularly since after that 3-29 start they went 20-30, but no one expected them to be this good this soon. The scary thing to imagine is how good they’d be if they’d used their #3 draft pick on Tyreke Evans or Stephen Curry instead of James Harden. I know they wanted Russell Westbrook to remain the man at point guard so they chose the top shooting guard prospect, but c’mon, both ‘Reke and Curry can play the two. At 6′6″, presumed Rookie of the Year ‘Reke is even an inch taller than Harden. I imagine he’d get more than the 13 minutes/game that Harden’s averaged during the first two playoff battles. But I came here not to talk Thunder, but Trailblazer.

The man who came in second place for Coach Of The Year was the Bucks’ Scott Skiles, another well-deserving candidate. In the off-season Milwaukee lost Richard Jefferson, Charlie Villanueva and Ramon Sessions, then only got 18 games out of leading scorer Michael Redd (and in many of those games even Redd’s minutes/abilities were limited due to injuries). Yet Skiles got his team to buy in on defense (which has always been his calling card), and with the late-season trade for John Salmons, brought them to an impressive 46 wins (& they might’ve had even more if not for Andrew Bogut’s season-ending injury at the beginning of this month). Um, however, this isn’t about him either.

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Tags: James Harden Milwaukee Bucks Nate McMillan Oklahoma City Thunder Portland Trail Blazers Russell Westbrook Scott Brooks Scott Skiles Stephen Curry Tyreke Evans

  • Brian

    Thanks for the Blazer love Alex… I started reading your blogs on bucketsoverbroadway when you guys snagged sergio. I always hoped he would get into a system like the nicks after he left rip city, but I was kinda surprised he didn’t shine a bit more for you guys than he did. I thought he’d be pumping out double digit assists regularly once he got the minutes, but he never found his groove (consistently). Maybe he can stay and find it next year throwing lobs up to Lebron and company :)

    • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

      Thanks for reading, Brian, and I’m happy to send out Blazer love. I’ve only been to Portland once, but man, it’s an amazing city. I just read an article about how ex-Blazer/current Sun Channing Frye still maintains a home there despite growing up AND playing college ball AND now professional ball in Arizona. Makes sense to me.

      As for Sergio, I’m right with you. I would’ve bet big bucks that he’d explode over here. I dunno what happened.

      • Brian

        Ya, I’ll be looking forward to your “Should I stay or should I go now” on Sergio. Personally, I hope you guys keep him and that he produces more consistently for you with better players around him to pass to. He was kinda pushed to the 2 spot a bit it seemed too, with T-mac and douglas running the point… but that still doesn’t explain enough of it for me. oh well

  • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

    Yeah, it seemed odd to me when D’Antoni started using Spanish Chocolate at the two and Toney at point guard. I mean Sergio actually did hit a few threes off of a penetration-then-dish by Toney, but I would’ve swapped roles. Seems to me that Toney’s more of a shooter and Serg is more the creator-type (not to sound all religious-like).