Nate McMillan not the defensive coach he’s cracked up to be

Me at the Detroit Free Press:

To see how much a difference pace can make, here’s how McMillan’s teams ranked in points allowed per game/points allowed per possession:

2000-01 SuperSonics: 24th/24th*

2001-02 SuperSonics: 12th/17th

2002-03 SuperSonics: 6th/17th

2003-04 SuperSonics: 24th/27th

2004-05 SuperSonics: 13th/27th

2005-06 Trail Blazers: 18th/28th

2006-07 Trail Blazers: 14th/26th

2007-08 Trail Blazers: 8th/17th

2008-09 Trail Blazers: 4th/13th

2009-10 Trail Blazers: 3rd/15th

2010-11 Trail Blazers: 7th/14th

2011-12 Trail Blazers: 18th/23rd**

And his teams usually perform well offensively. After all, if his defenses do poorly, there has to be some reason his teams win more often than not.

There’s plenty of variation in rankings for McMillan’s teams offensively (using points scored per possession) — 10th, 5th, 19th, 3rd, 2nd, 30th, 20th, 14th, 1st, 7th, 10th, 11th — but they certainly skew to the positive.

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Tags: Kaleb Canales Nate Mcmillan Paul Westphal Phil Jackson

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