What a Difference a Coach Makes: The Influence Of Scott Brooks

December 9th, 2009 by Tariq Ahmad Leave a reply »
On November 21, 2008, Oklahoma City Thunder head coach PJ Carlesimo was relieved of his duties, and assistant coach Scott Brooks was named head coach for the remainder of the 2008-2009 season.

The Thunder were 1-12 under Carlesimo when Brooks took over.  Although Brooks didn't fair too well either to start his tenure (2-17 in his first 19 games), something happened after this point:

The Thunder started to win.

From Brooks' first game v. the New Orleans Hornets on November 22, the team instantly looked more competitive, and it set the tone for the season.  The team played harder, gave maximum effort, and had the desire each night to fight to finish for a W.

Brooks' leadership has earned him respect from his players, a vote of confidence from the front office, and a legitimate chance to make the playoffs for the 2009-2010 season.

The key to this turnaround:  third quarter scoring differential.

Some data:

Not including Coach Brooks' first 19 games as head coach, starting with a New Year's Eve win v. the Golden State Warriors, the Thunder have played 70 games under Coach Brooks.  From this point (th ...

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