Mark Jackson’s future as head coach of the Golden State Warriors was immediately in doubt after the team’s season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Clippers over the weekend, and rumors have now become reality with Tuesday’s news he has been fired. Despite having the backing of the players and leading the Warriors to 51 regular season wins this year, reported differences with management brought an end to Jackson’s tenure.
It was no surprise that Rick Adelman decided to resign after three seasons as Timberwolves’ head coach, due at least in part to his wife’s on-going health concerns. Adelman brought a certain credibility to the franchise when he was hired three years ago, but after a successful playing career Jackson has moved from the broadcast booth into coaching and surely brings his own level of credibility.
The Timberwolves’ most obvious shortcoming is on the defensive end, as they finished the 2013-14 season allowing 104.3 points per game (26th in the league) and allowed opponents to make just over 47 percent of their field goal attempts (second-worst in the league). The Warriors aren’t exactly deep with players who can be classified as lock-down defenders, yet they were tied for third in the league in opponent’s field goal percentage (43.6 percent) and finished in the top half of the league in points allowed per game (99.5; tied for 10th).
Jackson is likely to get significant interest from the New York Knicks, and since he played there, was born in Brooklyn and played collegiately at St. John’s that interest may be mutual. In any case Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations Flip Saunders should be on the phone with Jackson’s representatives shortly, if only to convey his interest in hiring him while crossing his fingers that Jackson will listen to all available options.
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter.