Will this picture ever get old? The correct answer is no.
After improving his team by ten wins, securing home court, and making it to the second round of the playoffs, Rick Sund did not extend Mike Woodson's contract. He chose instead to let the final year ride out. I found the move a bit perplexing. I feel very secure in saying you know what you are going to get with Woodson. In the most positive analogy I have ever given him, he is like beer in that sense.
The lack of a contract extension is basically like working at Chickfila (which I did for three years in high school, no big deal) and asking for the weekly schedule a week in a advance and being told management is not willing to commit to you. They want to see how you run drive thru this week. Some may say, "but I have run drive thru the last five years" but apparently Rick Sund would call you a damn fool and go back to the evaluation room.
All that said, lets take a look at what Mike Woodson, again, entering into the last year of his contract could mean for the team and the coach.
- Hawks improve again Woody gets a new contract.
Lets be honest, the Hawks win 50+, I swallow crow and send Mike Woodson flowers.
- Hawks stumble out of the gate, Woodson is fired.
I struggle to see how this is "good" per se. Since I don't see the Hawks bringing in an established coach mid season, plus the Hawks would, by necessity, be stumbling, but if the Hawks can get lucky either by hiring an unproven coach or by stumbling on a proven coach, it could be the best in the long run. Hey, Laurence Franks rattled off like 30 wins in a row for the Nets when he was promoted mid-season. Then again, I don't want Laurence Franks now. In the end, it is good because it is a change, and I believe the Hawks need a change.
- Hawks make playoffs and go no further than the second round, Woodson extended.
Why not extend him this summer then? Why not give Woodson a platform and ability to demand respect for the vision he is casting for the teams? It is hard to get players to buy into roles when that role might change with a new coach in a year. Especially if you don't like the role you are given.
- Hawks lose in first round or don't make the playoffs, Woodson extended.
This is the disaster scenario of course. It is a white flag. A concrete embedding into the status quo. A formal signing to the idea that just making the playoffs is good enough, and a formal entrance into therapy by yours truly.
- Hawks make it to the second round of the playoff and lose, Woodson fired.
I have already titled the post for when this happens, "Why!?!?" There is no need to evaluate Woodson anymore. The man does the same thing every game. If coaches somehow became rated and given tendencies by NBA live, the designers would fall in love with Mike Woodson. His character would be done in four hours. You would only need to watch two game films. Knowing the organization's thought process was that somehow Woodson was going to improve his coaching would probably drive me to some unhealthy addiction. Like blogging.