Now that Mike Dunleavy can't blame the Clippers' malfeasance on Elgin Baylor, will that clear or cloud the miasma that has chronically surrounded the franchise?
On the Chopping Block
The decision to rehire Mike Woodson was a squeaker and was primarily based on the Hawks' surprising showing against the Celtics in the playoffs. For Woodson to keep his job, the Hawks must resume their high-flying antics on a consistent basis, Joe Johnson must continue to be a fail-safe go-to scorer, Josh Smith must keep his yap shut and show up for every game, and Mike Bibby must prove that there's still plenty of gas in his tank. Should the Hawks lose three in a row before Thanksgiving, Woodson is advised not to send out his laundry.
With J-Kidd and Richard Jefferson elsewhere, and the Nets' proposed move to Brooklyn looking like a no-go, the pressure is on Lawrence Frank to produce a winning team right now. Yes, he's a nice guy and he works hard, but the Nets have run out of excuses and Frank is on the verge of running out of time.
During Mike Brown's tenure the Cavs have brought in a continuing series of secondary saviors including Damon Jones, Larry Hughes, Ben Wallace and Mo Williams. Should Cleveland fail to return to the Finals, the bigwigs just may decide that the problem sits on the bench. Forget about the Cavs' shortcomings in the bigs department, Brown will take the fall.
What can Jim O'Brien do with Indiana's lackluster roster? Not much. But even though general managers assemble the parts, the coach's job is always on the line when those parts don't function properly. Also, GMs tend to overvalue the players they've obtained and tend to blame the coach as the losses mount. Besides which, Larry Bird is an institution in Indiana, while O'Brien is a carpetbagger.
Likewise will George Karl take the rap for the foolish moves made by the Nuggets' (dis)organization.
After last season's dismal results in Memphis, Marc Iavaroni is basically on probation. The only relevant question being this: Will Iavaroni still be around when/if the Grizzlies' youngsters develop into star-caliber players? Probably not.
Even if P.J. Carlesimo learns to love Oklahoma City's dubious gustatory specialties which include chicken fried steak and barbequed baloney the Thunder need to make some noise on the court for him to retain his citizenship in OKC. Given how hopeless the team's prospects are, Carlesimo will probably survive the season, unless their record and Carlesimo's routine blather move Kevin Durant to strangle him.