Jeff Bower’s Report Card

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Published: April 22, 2010

After one of the more unique seasons in recent memory, Jeff Bower’s reign as coach of the Hornets is officially over. With the announcement that he will return to a full time roll as General Manager, it’s possible that Bower has seen the last of his days as an NBA coach. That’s a story for another time though. Today, Jeff is getting his report card.

  • Games Coached: 73
  • Wins: 34
  • Losses: 39

Offensive Coaching: C+

Without going into detail, Jeff Bower didn’t change too much with the offense, and it’s likely that he cheated off his buddy, Tim Floyd, for the majority of the season. The two combined to run a pretty decent pick and roll based attack. Due to injuries and casualties of the effort to get under the luxury tax line, Bower’s potential rotations were limited, to say the least.

The team’s offense just wasn’t good enough to warrant a better grade. Darius Songaila was used far, far too much, even if the alternative was Julian Wright. Okafor’s minutes were a career low, despite no injury troubles. Bringing Paul back when he did was an unwise move, both as coach and General Manager. At the time, the playoffs were already out of reach, and Paul’s minutes were not limited to reflect the reality of that.

Bower was at his best when he made the long-term decision to play the rookies through thick and thin, something his predecessor was unwilling to do. Without them, this would have been a painful year.

Defensive Coaching: D

There is nothing I can do to get the image of David West and Darius Songaila, defending the lane, out of my head.

Team Spirit/Energy: B

Jeff’s krewe had their fair share of nights where they took it easy, and there was a large stretch of games where they seemed to faced a double digit deficit for at least a quarter because of a breakdown on the court. The atrocious results against teams like the Nets and Knicks really hurt Jeff’s grade here

On the bright side he had the rookies running around all year, found a way to get David West fired up when the season was already lost, and managed to keep games close (and even win a few) when devastated by injuries. The games were fun, exciting and if the players committed any “transgressions”, they stayed out of the media.

Drafting: A+

  • Drafted Darren Collison with the 21st overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft.
  • Acquired the draft rights to Marcus Thornton, originally selected by Miami with the 43rd overall pick, in exchange for 2010 and 2012 second-round draft picks.

It’s rare to find value at the 21st draft position. Even more uncommon? Finding a capable player at the 43rd spot, ready to contribute from day one.

Trades: B

  • Acquired Emeka Okafor from Charlotte in exchange for Tyson Chandler.
  • Exercised the 2010-11 contract option on Julian Wright.
  • Acquired a conditional 2016 second-round draft pick and cash considerations in exchange for Hilton Armstrong
  • Acquired Aaron Gray from Chicago in exchange for Devin Brown.
  • Acquired conditional 2014 second-round draft pick in exchange for Bobby Brown from the Los Angeles Clippers.

Not many of the moves improved the team, and taking on a contract like Okafor’s can’t be overlooked. That said, aside from the Tyson move there isn’t one single trade that the Bees would redo if they could right now. Essentially they dumped a whole bunch of nothing for around 25 million in cash.

Acquisitions via free agency: I

  • Signed free agent Ike Diogu.
  • Signed Jason Hart to a 10-day contract.

There wasn’t much cash, and these two played 17 minutes total.

Cummulative GPA: 2.6 (B-)

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