A crisis can sink an organization.
And strong leadership can guide a business through difficult times.
Three NBA teams (Boston, Golden State and Phoenix) started the season with a crisis, and another (Brooklyn) was enveloped in one shortly after the season began.
The Celtics suspended coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season just before training camp began for a “violation of team rules.” Warriors mainstay Draymond Green punched teammate Jordan Poole in the preseason. The investigation into Robert Sarver revealed enough ownership dysfunction that Sarver announced he planned to sell the Suns. And Kyrie Irving’s promotion of an antisemitic film resulted in an eight-game suspension.
This was not the way the NBA wanted to start its season.
How have those teams fared on the court? The results have been mixed.
The Celtics have thrived with first-time NBA head coach Joe Mazzulla, who replaced Udoka. They are an NBA-best 14-4, have the top offense in the NBA and perhaps the best player early in Jayson Tatum.
It appears the Celtics have navigated the situation nicely despite some initial bumps due to potential legal proceedings. On the court, the Celtics have played like a team determined to win the East again and get back to the Finals.
Their offensive rating of 118.8 points per 100 possessions is a tad higher than No. 2 Sacramento’s (116.8), their plus-6.9 net rating is No. 3 and Tatum is one of seven NBA players averaging at least 30 points (30.6). He’s also averaging 7.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.2 blocks and shooting 47.2% from the field and 35.3% on 3-pointers.
While losing a coach just before the season begins never makes for a seamless transition, the Celtics’ players and Mazzulla deserve credit for their professionalism and focus. This was not an easy situation given how much time a coach and players spend together. It helps to have strong ownership, front-office stability and a new coach who was ready for the moment.
The Warriors have strong leadership in ownership, front office and coaching staff. Weathering the Green-Poole storm was problematic and residual effects…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/four-nba-teams-launched-season-114143139.html?src=rss
Author : USA TODAY Sports
Publish date : 2022-11-25 11:41:43
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