There is an age-old myth in the NBA that a head coach, or any coach for that matter, is highly overrated and doesn't matter all that much to how his team performs.
Just the other day I was having a debate with another NetsDaily poster who thought it was ridiculous that I could wonder for a second whether the defensive deficiencies of our team were more due to our player personnel or our head coach. 'It's a player league', is exactly what he said to me, and I still don't really know what that means.
Many people like to say that Doc Rivers isn't really an excellent basketball coach and that he only started to win once Kevin Garnett joined the team. Well, you're right! Except Kevin Garnett didn't magically transform his basketball team into a great defensive squad. Garnett's teams in Minnesota were middle of the pack defensively, despite Garnett being a dominating defensive player well into his 13th year in the league. But the Celtics hired an assistant coach named TOM THIBODEAU and their team suddenly, with Garnett as the on-floor general, became the best defensive team in the league.
So what's my point? The coach CAN make a difference. Is Brook Lopez ever going to be a great defensive player? I think we can all agree that he won't. But Avery is not a great defensive coach. He doesn't have these guys thinking defense at all times, and ultimately I think this team is going to have to hire someone who can. There aren't 30 Tom Thibodeau's out there in this league, but the Nets need a stable defensive presence if they are going to maximize their offensive potential.