Thursday, October 30, 2008

If you can't coach both sides, you probably shouldn't be coaching

Good Q&A with coach Scott Skiles on the Bucks website. A few highlights:

On having a balanced approach to offense and defense: "If you can’t coach both sides (offense and defense), you probably shouldn’t be coaching."

On changing the Bucks' culture: "To boil it all down, without X-ing and O-ing, it’s a competitive mind-set that we have to have. We’re all creatures of habit, and it’s habitual. We have to decide who we are and what we want to accomplish. It’s an environment we have to create right here, and it’s got to be the way we go to work every day. We’ve got some habits, maybe, from some guys that have been here that we have to change."

On being optimistically realistic: "There’s a fine line we have to walk here. We’ve got to be positive, excited and upbeat about the season, which we are, but at the same time, we’ve got to realize that last year we only won 26 games. To think we only need one player or something like that is a little foolhardy. We want to be a playoff team and win a title, just like every other team."

On work ethic: "It’s not just a professional-athlete situation. It’s a human-being situation. A lot of people make a lot of money and don’t work hard at their jobs or get excited about going to work. Now if those people are crass enough to think, ‘Well, if I just made more money, then I’d be excited,’ I don’t think that’s very common sensical. So they’re just like everyone else. I think the large majority of NBA players play hard almost all the time. The truth is, there are some that don’t. But the vast majority of them do. I think if you looked at the percentages, it’d be the same as any other profession, or even better."

On players earning minutes: "If you look at my teams, I’m not afraid to play a lot of guys. I do sort of old-fashionedly believe that if guys are going to show up and give it to me at practice, I’ll try to find a role for them, even if it’s very limited minutes. Every coach, I think, would like to have the ideal nine- or 10-man rotation, maybe, on a given night. But that all depends on how the players are playing. They’ll show that to you."

On playing rookies: "A coach knows, historically, that if he’s playing too many young guys, he’s going to get beat. But again, that shows itself to you, too. We like our rookies, and they’ll show you if they’re ready to go out there and earn playing time. If they can’t, you just bring them along a little more slowly and they work their way in.”