Where will Monta Ellis be at the beginning of the 2013-14 season? (Photo credit)
People generally underrate the impact coaches have on shaping a player’s career. Aside from ego, most of these guys come in as blank slates. They don’t have defined roles, they still have skills to develop, and ultimately, you can turn them into whatever you need them to be if you coach them correctly.
Take Jason Terry: a shoot-first, second and third guard who plays about as much defense as David Ortiz. He spent the first five years of his career as the best player on a series of forgettable Atlanta teams (won no more than 35 games). Then he goes to Dallas, where Don Nelson and Avery Johnson bumble their way out of jobs. Terry got better in Dallas because he was playing with real players, but he still wasn’t being maximized.
Then Rick Carlisle came and changed everything. Rather than continuing to stick a square peg in a round hole, Carlisle asked Terry to come off the bench, lead the offense for 4-...