Coaching vs. Chemistry


Coaching vs. Chemistry

It takes a little bit of everything to win championships, in any sport and any level of competition. From NBA, to college football, to the NHL, elite skill, coaching, chemistry, execution of game plan, and a little bit of luck all need to happen for a championship run.

In this year’s NBA final four, you had the best four teams playing their best basketball of the season all at the same time. These four teams, the Heat, Celtics, Thunder, and Spurs all have the chemistry to have what it takes to win. This current Spurs team has won three championships, Celtics have made two Finals trips, the Heat were there last year and had the Thunder punch their ticket this year after losing to Dallas last year.

Clearly all these teams have the chemistry.

Coaching is up there for what it takes too win. The last 12 NBA champion coaches are: Phil Jackson (5x) Greg Popovich (3x), Larry Brown, Doc Rivers, Pat Riley, and Rick Carlisle. So yes, obviously coaching has a lot do with it. I hate when people say coaching is not important in the NBA. The argument is always brought up that Phil Jackson isn’t that much of a great coach because he had the two best players in the league at the time in Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

Imagine Phil Jackson coming out of retirement and coaching the Heat. But coaching doesn’t matter right?

I have played basketball since I was 5 years old and I am now coaching my second year with fifth graders. The current team and friends I play with have been playing together for five years now. We are always undersized, not as strong, can’t jump as high, slower, and probably are less talented than most of our opponents. When we go to the local parks and blacktops we rarely ever lose. Why? Because we know where each other is going five steps before it happens. We rotate on defense with our eyes closed. We trust each other. We are a team.

The Boston Celtics this year are a perfect mix of coaching and chemistry. Doc Rivers and a veteran team who has played together for five years. The Heat are a team that is still trying to figure out how to play together but have better individual talent than anyone else with LeBron and Dwyane Wade on their team. They are coached by Eric Spoelstra, a coach who is trying to push the right buttons where Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley is his boss and anything less than a championship is a failure.

I think chemistry tops coaching in winning but without a coach who knows how to motivate and get the best out of his players, the chemistry is useless. When it comes down to it, the players are the one passing the ball, shooting, crashing the boards, and making the defensive stops. Obviously without a coach guiding them on which way and technique to execute, there would be mayhem on every team.

A coach’s job is to make decisions on offensive sets, defensive matchups, substitutions, and pressing the right buttons at the right times with the right players. I have worn both hats, winning a championship with my team that had great chemistry and coached 4th graders to their first championship. I love coaching and good coach is essential to winning. Coaching and chemistry go hand in hand. Both of them make each other look good, but without chemistry on the court, you do not win.