29 March 2012

Should the Clippers fire Vinny Del Negro?

Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro has been on thin ice. There were rumors abound that Del Negro lost his locker room and that he was about to be fired but owner Donald Sterling overruled, saying he wanted to see the team one more time in person before a decision and the next game was a big win over the Memphis Grizzlies. He then received a vote of confidence a couple days later. The question is, however, should Del Negro get the axe?

Let's be clear, Del Negro is a pretty awful coach. That idea was clear when he was coaching underachieving teams in Chicago, that took off under his successor Tom Thibodeau, and it is clear now. Del Negro is quite simply a terrible Xs and Os coach, which he has never suggested otherwise, and his strengths are said to be in motivating as well as working with young talent, which has been in question of late thanks to the Clippers' lackadaisical play and some of their key youngsters, notably Blake Griffin, turning a little whiny.

But now, in my opinion, is not the time to fire him. Wait until after the season. I've never been a big fan of firing coaches mid-season, even more so near the end of the season although sometimes a coaching change in the midst of a season can work wonders. But not too often. Del Negro is probably as good as gone unless he can whip Lob City into shape and roll into the playoffs and have a deep run. Unless you can get a guy like a Jerry Sloan to come in, just wait until the season is over.

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