John Wooden once said, “ a coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” Wooden, the great UCLA coach, won 10 titles with his Bruins and coached some of the best NBA players ever. Wooden was a key cog for the Bruins and UCLA has only won one title since 1975 when Wooden walked away.
Coaching makes the difference in college and in the NBA. The Los Angeles Clippers added a coaching superstar this offseason, trading for former Boston Celtic great Doc Rivers. Previously the Clippers had coach Vinny Del Negro, a coach that seldom ran plays on offense and was one of the worst coaches in the league last season.
The addition of Rivers to the Clips will only make point guard Chris Paul even more productive than last season, and will be the factor that attests to why Paul will be more productive than Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry next season.
Both Curry and Paul were incredibly prolific and productive at their position last season. Paul averaged 16.9 points, 9.7 assists, and 2.4 steals per game last season. He shot 88.5 percent from the line and was also very good from the field. Curry was a more lethal scorer than Paul, averaging 22.9 points per game but only 6.9 assists per game and 1.6 steals.
According to Synergy Sports, when the Clippers offense broke down, meaning they didn’t run isolation, pick-and-roll or dribble hand- offs among others, they still scored more than 46 percent of the time. Paul’s production when the offense breaks down should only increase with the arrival of Rivers.
Curry and his Warriors, by comparison, only scored 38.6 percent of the time when the offense broke down, a number will most likely stay the same next year. Curry is more of a spot-up shooter than Paul, but due to his breakout postseason in 2013, teams will gear up even more on Curry than they did last season.
Both Paul and Curry should be more productive next season, but the arrival of Rivers will surpass the production the arrival of Andre Iguodala will bring to the Warriors. At this point in their respective careers, Paul is a better player than Curry, and while both Paul and Curry will be productive next season, Paul will be the more productive player.