In the last installment of my season review, I'll review the coaches, the game plan and management.
It would be fair to say more people would like to see Marty go than stay. Adelaide has finished down the bottom in the two seasons he's overseen the 36ers and many are struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The 3yr plan gets referenced often but it's hard to see how a 3yr plan features a wooden spoon in Yr 2.
I've got no doubt Marty can develop talent and draw up plays but I'm not sold on his game preparation and game day coaching. I've often thought we've played the wrong D or got the matchups wrong in very winable games. The rotations have been difficult for the players, let alone the fans, to understand. I've not heard any intense loyal support from the players for Clarke either. So should we let him go? I don't know.
Message boards have thrown up candidates such as Phil Smyth, Ian Stacker, Al Green and Al Westover. I don't think any of those candidates are sure things. It's well known Smyth's game style best suits older players. Stacker has been out of the league for a while now. Al Green isn't a serious option. Al Westover is probably the most suited of the bunch but I'm not sure he'd be the right fit here.
Then there's Brett Maher. Maher has no head coaching experience and is now several seasons out of the league but has lots of positives. He'd generate huge local interest, have the respect of the players and is a wealth of basketball knowledge. He's also been closer to the team over the last few months and would have picked up a lot about the players and the club in general. It would be interesting to know any direct involvement he's had with changes to the team ie was he involved in the move of Bartlett into the starting lineup? The hypocrisy of changing to Maher though would be he'd be the third straight rookie coach.
I'm not sold on Marty but if the board ensures the following are addressed I'd think it would be wise to let him start his 3rd year and assess it all at the half way mark of the season.
-Imports. Have a brainstrust involved in signing off on the imports. A team of Clarke, Smyth, Maher, Davis and an outsider would be a good start. Smyth was responsible for bringing out some of our best imports (KB, Farley, Hodge) and obviously has a knack for this part of the job, which in many ways is the most important. Maher and Davis played a long time here and saw plenty of guys come through and should have some wisdom. An outsider (proven ex-coach etc) would add to the mix.
-Fix the defense. This has been the teams biggest problem and with several below average defenders, the team must work out how to fix it. I'd love to see more pressing (think Perth) and more junk zone.
-Game plan (see following)
The game plan has been a bit all over the place. Clarke needs to get a set team soon, work out the strengths and weaknesses and have a structured style. With DJ and Weigh the only signed starters, it's imperative these 2 are surrounded with excellent defenders. The team needs a harder edge on D and a free-flowing offense. A press with Creek and Herbert (if he's back) featuring would be something I'd like to see.
The fans are getting restlesss and management needs to show they will do something. The starting lineup needs at least 2 new faces, including an import to excite the fans. Board members and club staff need to be more in the open during the tough times. The club should revisit streaming games and continuing to improve their social media reach (quality, not quantity). Game nights need a big freshen up to. Newer music, better half-time entertainment, featuring of ex-players, video montages, NBA-style player intros......generate some excitement!
I'll be interested to see what occurs in the next 3 months, we'll soon know what we can expect for 2012-2013.