I thought Eddie Jordan was bad at player development. Then Ernie promoted Ed Tapscott.
Nov: 25:36 min, 45.2%, 12.0 pts, 2.9 reb, 1.4 ast, 1.4 to
Feb: 23:53 min, 40.2%, 11.3 pts, 2.1 reb, 0.8 ast, 0.9 to
Nov: 20:06 min, 51.8%, 8.9 pts, 5.3 reb, 0.9 blk
Feb: 16:36 min, 48.1%, 7.8 pts, 4.4 reb, 1.0 blk
I didn't mind when Ernie fired Eddie, because Eddie didn't have a great track record of developing young players. He did well with the veterans, but the progress of Haywood, for instance, was slowed by Eddie's substitution patterns. The silver lining of a year lost to injuries, besides a lottery pick, is the chance to give major minutes to young guys who would otherwise be buried on the bench.
I figured that Ernie's claim in late November that this team should be winning more was just a typical GM platitude, one of the things you say when you fire your coach. When the losses continued to pile up, I figured Tapscott would play the young guys more and cut back on the minutes of Antawn and Caron, maybe even give then a night off every once in a while, and leave James and Songaila on the bench. Obviously that hasn't happened.
To his credit, Tapscott has brought along McGuire and Crittenton. (Heck, let Javaris start a game. What's the worst that could happen? We lose to an Oklahoma City team missing two of its best players?) To my mind, though, Tapscott only gets partial credit here. If he had developed these guys in the midst of a fight for a playoff berth, he'd deserve a coaching award. But this team stinks. Play the kids. All the kids. A lot.
Playing time is going to be much harder to come by next year when the team should be worrying about its playoff seed. Guys who don't get substantial seasoning this year are going to get stuck with Pecherov minutes.
Looking at their stats, Nick regressed from November to February, while JaVale hasn't improved. These guys bear some responsibility for their own lack of playing time, sure, but not as much as our former director of player development and the GM who made him the head coach.