I really like what he did since taking over. The record is not good enough to deserve an A but the player development has been solid.
Turned a debacle into a step in the right direction.
Mr. Baker: B
The team he started with got his former boss fired. He forced players to play their positions and work their way into or out of the roster. He evaluated who he had and what he needed. He picked another path, to develop the kids and let the point guard run the offense. He was successful comapred to Bob Weiss, whom I gave a D. I hear that a coach needs to coach to the strength of his team, that's true. He also has to coach to the weakness of the team. This team is young, kids need structure. Weiss put players in a position to figure out what they want to do in a play. Only a few of the players have had enough experience playing to make
that situation be successful. Weiss was a poor fit.
Brian Robinson: B+
I really, really liked what Hill did to the team and thought that he had a nearly impossible task. There were a few things that I didn't like much that knock him down. First, I wonder why he couldn't find some usable role for Flip Murray on the squad so that we at least got a pick for him. Secondly I don't understand the effort developing Reggie Evans as a post scorer and then waiting until the very end of the season to give Collison the same opportunity. Nick really thrived when he started getting a few looks down low and I think it went against the grain of most everything else Hill said and did to hold back. Lastly I think he needed to find a role for Damien Wilkens. When you preach defense you need to show the benefits of playing it by rewarding the guy who plays with the most defensive intensity on your team. Overall he did really well and I could think of a lot of reasons to give him an A.
When Hill took over it was a final goodbye to the coaching staff and style of George Karl. In one capacity or another all of those assistants had been in Seattle over 10 years with no turnover, which is absolutely unprecedented in the NBA. When systems don't change they often stagnate, and that was the case with this team over the last several seasons. There was very little new thinking going on with the way the Sonics chose to match up with teams. Often they went with small lineups and were quite content to get slaughtered regularly on the glass because of it. They clung stubbornly to outdated defensive concepts. Hill changed all of that and quickly. I loved his quote about making teams recognize that the Sonics had the size up front and that teams were going to have to match up with them. Under his tenure Luke blossomed offensively and the team as a whole played with much more intensity on both ends of the court, even if the results weren't always different from his predecessor. In the final analysis Hill was one of only two reasons to stay tuned into this team and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can accomplish with this group given a full training camp next year.
CUMULATIVE GRADE: B+