Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A system that allows players to take advantage of their skills

A story in yesterday's Portland paper makes a good point:

"[Rick] Adelman (pictured here with Joey Dorsey) has one of the league's best all-time career winning percentages, but his name rarely surfaces in conversations about the NBA's elite. He has taken teams to the Finals and developed a style of play that players enjoy. But the average fan will not hear his name mentioned in the same sentence as Phil Jackson, Pat Riley or Gregg Popovich."

Elston Turner, a longtime assistant to Coach Adelman, believes it's because "he's not flamboyant or flashy. He just goes about his business. When you have a personality like that, people don't always give you your due respect."

PHX coach Terry Porter, who was on Coach Adelman's staff in SAC, credits Coach Adelman's system and style of play for his success:

"He does a good job of giving his players structure, but he doesn't let it get to the point where they're robots out on the court. There is a flow to his offense and a simplicity to it. I think (the Rockets) have really bought into Rick's style. The guys do a good job of working his schemes and believing in Rick."

Bobby Jackson agrees, saying: "He gives you a lot of freedom. Not freedom where you can do whatever you want, but freedom with a system that allows you to take advantage of your skills as a player."

As for Coach Adelman, he focuses on helping his players maximize their abilities:

"It's a players' league, and you have to communicate with these guys. You've got to get them to feel like you're doing the best for them to make them successful and the team successful. If you do that, they'll buy in and you'll be successful."