Let's reset, shall we?
We have come to an interesting split when it comes to preference between Hawks coaching candidates Avery Johnson and Dwane Casey.
We see where a plurality of Hawk fans fall when it comes to who they want to see as the next Hawks coach.
However, a quick look around those who write about the league/team lends itself to a groundswell of support not for Johnson, who has been to the NBA Finals and carries a +.700 coaching record, but for Casey, who has coached (122) NBA games and owns a .434 winning percentage.
What gives? Check out the links after the jump.
It's been a snowball of endorsements for Casey, of whom John Hollinger had his back after he was let go from Minnesota in 2007.
First, it's surprising that the Hawks have limited themselves to these two candidates (allegedly) when former coaches, assistants, and other channels of coaching talent have yet to be interviewed (Jeff Van Gundy, Byron Scott), investigated, etc. We drew out an admittedly abridged yet somewhat deep list of candidates early on in the process, yet if you believe reports, only Johnson, Casey, Mark Jackson, and Larry Drew have had face to face interviews to date...and are supposedly done with that phase of the process, which would lead some to believe that the team feels comfortable that one of those guys can take the team to the next level and one of them will definitely accept the post.
As stated above, Casey is endorsed by a number of writers:
Mark Bradley was first and has not relented in his approval.
Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! made his case for Casey.
Finally, Michael Cunningham has provided evidence to suggest Casey should be the guy in his latest entry.
Anyway, I’ve heard Garnett and Rashard Lewis both swear by Casey. Lewis, whom Casey tutored while an assistant in Seattle, recently endorsed his old coach. From Steve Aschburner at NBA.com:
"He’s a great coach. He’s a gym rat. He made sure I worked on my game all the time. He knows the X’s and O’s. He was a great assistant coach when he did the scouting report. He’s just one of those guys who eats, sleeps basketball."
Not just that, but the case has been made against Avery Johnson:
First (again), there was Bradley voicing his disapproval of Avery.
Then I got into the mix after looking deeper at his last season in Dallas, where remember, he had Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban's deep pockets---items he won't have in Atlanta.
Finally, in terms of timetable, Mark Stein, in his latest update on True Hoop, states that no decision will be made before next week and that the league feels Casey is the favorite to get the job in the ATL.
Now watch, with all of this focus, it will somebody off the current board.
UPDATE and Exit Question:
The Hawks have turned their eyes a second time to Mark Jackson, according to NBA Fanhouse. (H/T Mr. Sanchez) Does this open the Hawks up to a three horse race or just leverage on their other "finalists"?