Up to this point in the 2012-13 season, George Karl ("GK") has been a terrible coach, and the Denver Nuggets have been underperforming relative to expectations.

It's not all GK's fault; Lawson and Gallo are playing poorly. Still, he's doing a lot wrong. He'll end close games by not playing a center. His young superstar, Kenneth Faried, is not in the top three minutes played. He's playing bench dreg Corey Brewer more than dominant big man Javale McGee (Nuggets at NBAGeek). 

On Twitter, Kevin Draper (@TheDissNBA) and I got in a discussion about GK, and Kevin claimed GK was at least once a good coach.

I'll bite. 

In 2000-01 the Bucks won 52 games and finished first in the Central division. How much should be attributed to coach Karl?

The first thing to consider is few coaches make their players better. GK doesn't make the short list. 

Even though coaches don't have a big impact on player quality, they make important decisions. They decide who plays, for how long, and with whom. A good coach recognizes his better players, and gives them the minutes. 

Shown in this spreadsheet and reproduced below is the player performance (ADJP48 and WP48) and minute allocation of the 2000-01 Bucks. 


He did well by recognizing Ray Allen was his best player. Not a huge accomplishment, but a win for GK. Beyond that, there's not much in this allocation to praise. Glenn Robinson received the second most minutes per game and played worse than the NBA average and worse than two other small forwards on this team. Ervin Johnson (not Magic) and Darvin Ham, two of the best players on the 2000-01 Bucks, weren't in the top five minutes per game. 

This mismanagement is consistent with GK's current decisions. I've looked at other GK teams and it's no better. It's time for Denver to recognize GK for what he is- an incompetent coach who needs to be replaced if the Nuggets want to compete in the West.


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