Luke Walton

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#31
I like what I've seen from Walton so far in that he's preaching defense, he's clearly already improved the defense, and he's not overly stubborn and "sticking with his guys" as so many coaches do. The fact that Dedmon was relegated to the bench relatively quickly at the start of the season and that Buddy is benched at times (for horrible defense) shows a willingness on Luke's part to go by the results and what he sees right in front of him.

That said, we're also in the Honeymoon phase of a new coach. I'm pretty sure the early reviews for Dave Joerger were glowing as well. They generally are for a new coach when you see some positive results and changes that people were clamoring for. Ultimately time will tell and inevitably the honeymoon phase will start to wear off. All coaches have some annoying habits (to certain fans) and coaching tendencies especially in regards to player rotations. With time they become more obvious. The question is how glaring are they and do they really hinder the team much or are they just fodder for people to be annoyed with on internet forums.

Over time Joerger's annoying habits become much more apparent but he didn't help his own cause as some of the questionable decisions he made seemed to be for the sole purpose of being a disagreeable prick and not because they were the best basketball decisions.

As I said I like what I'm seeing from Walton so far but it will be extremely interesting to see how this thread holds up in the Spring after we've had a much larger sample size.
Not entirely. There was a solid set of fans who were very cautious about him from the very start.
 

Kingster

Hall of Famer
#33
There are two reasons the Kings won a back to back against Dallas and Houston: Walton, and the players buying into Walton. After the Kings got their bell rung in the AT&T Center I really believe Walton had an accountability session with his guys. And maybe some of his guys had their own accountability session with each other. Some coaches talk about "playing the right way." Well, this is playing the right way. The Kings just grinded on both Dallas and Houston in their houses. They didn't win because of their awesome talent. They won because they were tougher, physically and mentally. They made them work on offense and defense, all with their two young stars out of the lineup, and after getting broadsided in San Antonio. I couldn't be happier. We have a great coach.
 
#35
My only gripe with him so far has been his usage of Buddy Hield in important last second defensive plays. Hield blew it against San Antonio and was a Bjelica 35ft miracle shot away from blowing it in Houston by letting Westbrook drive the length of the court and go right by him as if he wasn't even standing there. Luke really needs to get Buddy off the court in those situations and get Ariza or even James in his place if he has to.
 
#36
It feels like the Kings have had a dirty little secret for over 10 years that they never have been able to play much defense.
Now they have a coach that emphasizes it. The team can win with only 8 guys and their most famous players in street clothes.
This has been the missing ingredient all along.
 
#37
My only gripe with him so far has been his usage of Buddy Hield in important last second defensive plays. Hield blew it against San Antonio and was a Bjelica 35ft miracle shot away from blowing it in Houston by letting Westbrook drive the length of the court and go right by him as if he wasn't even standing there. Luke really needs to get Buddy off the court in those situations and get Ariza or even James in his place if he has to.
Yeah had Beli not made that shot we would have been talking about Buddy’s defensive breakdown.
 

Kingster

Hall of Famer
#40
My only gripe with him so far has been his usage of Buddy Hield in important last second defensive plays. Hield blew it against San Antonio and was a Bjelica 35ft miracle shot away from blowing it in Houston by letting Westbrook drive the length of the court and go right by him as if he wasn't even standing there. Luke really needs to get Buddy off the court in those situations and get Ariza or even James in his place if he has to.
My best guess on why Walton is keeping Buddy Hield in the game in these defensive late game situations is that he's had a conversation that goes something like this: "Buddy, we're living or dying with you. It's up to you. You are going to be in the game when it counts. Period." I'll also speculate that Walton and Divac have had conversations about Hield in which they have agreed to put him in these situations. They want to coach him up as much as is possible, to expose him to crunch time on offense and defense, and then they'll be able to know exactly how he is going to fit into this team going forward. To sum it up, they are playing the long game with Buddy Hield and are willing to sacrifice some short-term losses for long term gain. Also, it may be that Walton does not want to expose his rookie Justin James to these defensive assignments in away games. On BBIQ and defensive ability Justin James is a superior defensive player to Buddy Hield right now, but to not play him a minute in either of the SA game or the Houston game and then have him guard a key offensive player at a critical point of the game may not be what Walton wants to do right now. That's the best I've got.:)
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#41
he needs to watch film or do SOMETHING about that. it's going to kill us when we become a playoff team and need him down the stretch. Like... wtf is the problem?
On the other hand, fouling was an ABSOLUTE no-no in that situation and Russ was gunning for contact. Buddy had to give ground without fouling and Holmes (for as good as he has been) was late sliding over to help. With the floor wide open like it was, and with the Rockets not calling a timeout, we couldn't pick and choose our defensive set/players. I thought Buddy did as much as he could.
 
#42
My best guess on why Walton is keeping Buddy Hield in the game in these defensive late game situations is that he's had a conversation that goes something like this: "Buddy, we're living or dying with you. It's up to you. You are going to be in the game when it counts. Period." I'll also speculate that Walton and Divac have had conversations about Hield in which they have agreed to put him in these situations. They want to coach him up as much as is possible, to expose him to crunch time on offense and defense, and then they'll be able to know exactly how he is going to fit into this team going forward. To sum it up, they are playing the long game with Buddy Hield and are willing to sacrifice some short-term losses for long term gain. Also, it may be that Walton does not want to expose his rookie Justin James to these defensive assignments in away games. On BBIQ and defensive ability Justin James is a superior defensive player to Buddy Hield right now, but to not play him a minute in either of the SA game or the Houston game and then have him guard a key offensive player at a critical point of the game may not be what Walton wants to do right now. That's the best I've got.:)
I agree with this 100%
 
#44
On the other hand, fouling was an ABSOLUTE no-no in that situation and Russ was gunning for contact. Buddy had to give ground without fouling and Holmes (for as good as he has been) was late sliding over to help. With the floor wide open like it was, and with the Rockets not calling a timeout, we couldn't pick and choose our defensive set/players. I thought Buddy did as much as he could.
I could have sworn they called a timeout after Hield made that 3 point shot and didn't just inbound it right after.
 
#47
My best guess on why Walton is keeping Buddy Hield in the game in these defensive late game situations is that he's had a conversation that goes something like this: "Buddy, we're living or dying with you. It's up to you. You are going to be in the game when it counts. Period." I'll also speculate that Walton and Divac have had conversations about Hield in which they have agreed to put him in these situations. They want to coach him up as much as is possible, to expose him to crunch time on offense and defense, and then they'll be able to know exactly how he is going to fit into this team going forward. To sum it up, they are playing the long game with Buddy Hield and are willing to sacrifice some short-term losses for long term gain. Also, it may be that Walton does not want to expose his rookie Justin James to these defensive assignments in away games. On BBIQ and defensive ability Justin James is a superior defensive player to Buddy Hield right now, but to not play him a minute in either of the SA game or the Houston game and then have him guard a key offensive player at a critical point of the game may not be what Walton wants to do right now. That's the best I've got.:)
Other than the speculating about Justin James, your post is exactly what I was going to say in response to ESP47. It isn't how I would be coaching this team, but it's hard to argue with success.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#48
Ah so I'm guessing lineup changes weren't allowed then.
Nope, not on reviews.

NBA rule 3.5.k:

No substitutes are allowed to enter the game during an official’s suspension-of-play for (1) a delay-of-game warning, (2) retrieving an errant ball, (3) an inadvertent whistle, (4) instant replay review or (5) any other unusual circumstance.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#51
Yep I take back my criticism there. Nothing he could have done other than just directed someone else to pick up Westbrook full court.
From reconstructing the play-by-play, it looks like the Rockets had Harden/Westbrook/McLemore/House/Tucker on the floor for that possession, against Joseph/Hield/Bogdan/Barnes/Holmes for us.

Yeah, ideally you get Joseph/Barnes to cover Harden/Westbrook leaving Buddy and Bogdan on McLemore/House and Holmes on Tucker. But I'm guessing if I could go to tape right now that we had Barnes contesting the inbounds due to his length (either BMac or House I'd guess) which means that CoJo is on Harden and either Buddy/Bogdan has to be on Westbrook. Bogdan's got a bad hamstring, so given Barnes is contesting the inbounds, Buddy is probably the lesser of two evils on that one.

But hey, Bjelica! It doesn't matter! :D:D
 
#52
My only gripe with him so far has been his usage of Buddy Hield in important last second defensive plays. Hield blew it against San Antonio and was a Bjelica 35ft miracle shot away from blowing it in Houston by letting Westbrook drive the length of the court and go right by him as if he wasn't even standing there. Luke really needs to get Buddy off the court in those situations and get Ariza or even James in his place if he has to.
There have been certain areas where they can be better but it's usually just a question of when Walton and his staff figure it out. For instance they've been getting killed on pick and roll playing off the screen and in the two games that it could destroy you the most with that (Doncic and Harden) they go with some box and 1 (personally not a big fan of leaving the corners but I digress), blitz, hard hedge, etc. What a change from having season long stretches of no adjustment. The measure of a universally good coach is adaptability. The last coach the Kings had with that mindset that was Rick Adelman.
 
#56
On the other hand, fouling was an ABSOLUTE no-no in that situation and Russ was gunning for contact. Buddy had to give ground without fouling and Holmes (for as good as he has been) was late sliding over to help. With the floor wide open like it was, and with the Rockets not calling a timeout, we couldn't pick and choose our defensive set/players. I thought Buddy did as much as he could.
Nah, easier to just blame Buddy for everything bad this season.
 
#57
My only gripe with him so far has been his usage of Buddy Hield in important last second defensive plays. Hield blew it against San Antonio and was a Bjelica 35ft miracle shot away from blowing it in Houston by letting Westbrook drive the length of the court and go right by him as if he wasn't even standing there. Luke really needs to get Buddy off the court in those situations and get Ariza or even James in his place if he has to.
Most times that involves using a critical time out which has its own hazards.