John Tortorella and Mike D’Antoni: Learning the Joys of Defense

January 5th, 2010 by Steven Ovadia Leave a reply »
It's really not easy being a big name coach.

When you're a big name, you assume you're being hired for your coaching philosophy, so the tendency is to go straight into your signature coaching style, without really thinking about what's best for the team.

The New York Knicks and the New York Rangers have both fallen victim to this Big Name Coach trap and both teams, and their coaches, seem to be figuring ways out.

Starting with the Rangers, coach John Tortorella was brought in to be the antidote to previous coach, Tom Renney. Renney was all about defense while Tortorella was all about offense.

Knowing he was brought in for his offensive style, that's all Tortorella worked on for much of the season, even as the losses piled up for the Rangers. And why wouldn't he keep pushing for offense over defense? He was thinking he was brought in to coach an offensive system, somehow forgetting he was also brought in to win.

The Knicks were in a similar predicament. Coach Mike D'Antoni was brought in for his uptempo, explosive coaching system. And he stuck to that system, even as the losses piled up. Until, one day, he realized he was a ...

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