That statement tells you a lot about the Atlanta Hawks head coach, and why they are where they are as a team.
I already assumed he didn't feel like that was part of his job, but it's glad to finally hear him say it.
I can understand why a coach would feel like being in the second round of the playoffs should be motivation enough for any player. I feel that way too, unfortunately it does not work like that. Some players need to be motivated, especially if they feel like there are certain teammates who aren't trying very hard. That can lead to, "well if he's not trying, then I'm not going to try either". It's petty, but it happens on every level of sports. It's definitely a problem one needs to address themselves, but sometimes they need a little push. This is where coaching comes in. No one is asking you to plead and beg with them to try to get them to play harder. That probably wouldn't work anyway. However there are some things you could do to try get maximum effort out of them. If you see a guy visibly dogging it on the court, bench his ass! There should be a list of things that the players know will not be tolerated. The list should include, but not be limited to: not boxing out due to laziness, being careless with the ball, taking ill advised shots, endlessly complaining to the refs, not getting back on defense and etc. It would not be going out on a limb to assume that if playing time were directly connected to effort, guys might try harder.
Even if they didn't, it would at least send the message to the guys who are actually trying, that you aren't going to let their teammates who are half assing it, contribute to the loss of a game. The problem with this Hawks team is that they know there are no repercussions for bad play. It could be because the head coach doesn't have the balls to discipline them, or because the options to replace them during a game are not very good. Either way, they know their playing time is all but written in indelible ink. When you have an offensive and defensive game plan that is as flawed as the one the Hawks employ, you can ill afford to add laziness to the equation when playing a great team. There's no shame in losing to a better team, however there is shame in losing to any team due to not trying. We would be okay with these losses if you all went down swinging like the Spurs, Jazz, Thunder, Mavericks, Bulls and Bobcats. But, there has been no fight in this team and that is unforgivable.
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