Paging Peter Dawson: Phil Jackson Is the Best Coach Left in the Playoffs


I'm writing this article in response to "Paging Doc Rivers: The Best Coach Left in the NBA Playoffs."

My goal is to present a compelling argument why Lakers coach Phil Jackson is, without a doubt, the best coach remaining in this year's NBA Playoffs.

I don't believe I have to spend much time pointing out the flaws in Stan Van Gundy or Alvin Gentry.

Van Gundy has done an admirable job in his short tenures with Miami and Orlando. I think it's unfair to sacrifice him on the altar for not winning a title with the Heat. The fact is that Pat Riley forced him out of Miami. Most likely, the Heat would have won the title with Van Gundy calling the shots.

In Orlando, he's clashed with Dwight Howard in the media. His antics and sideline mannerisms have been the subject of jokes and ridicule around the league. He hasn't won a championship; that's true. 

Here is a list of other coaches who have not won an NBA title: Jerry Sloan, Don Nelson, George Karl, Flip Saunders, and Rick Carlisle. Sloan is in the Hall of Fame, while Nelson and Karl should be in at some point as well.

It took Larry Brown 27 years of coaching in the NBA before he finally broke through with the Pistons in 2003-2004. Once again, a Hall of Fame coach.

The truth is that it's too early to make any sustainable conclusions about Gentry as a viable head coach in the NBA. I will say that the Suns' re-commitment to defense has disappeared against the Jackson-coached Lakers.

That brings me to Doc Rivers. He's done a masterful job in Boston. He won the title in 2008 with a roster full of aging superstars and an inexperienced (but talented) point guard in Rondo.

He's poised to reach the NBA Finals for the second time in three years. He has his team firing on all cylinders and buying into his system of team defense. The job he's done in these playoffs is particularly impressive...

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