3. The Los Angeles Lakers have much better coaching
Steve Nash is a legend of the game and is one of the best point guards of all-time. That does not make him a shoo-in to be a great head coach and we have already seen early on this season that Nash is rough around the edges.
The Nets do have Mike D’Antoni coaching alongside Nash, which is extremely helpful, but Nash is still the one that is tasked with making the lineups, figuring out the rotations and making in-game decisions.
This is not to say that Nash can’t be a good head coach, but to expect him to be great in his first year is a big stretch.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have one of the best defensive-minded head coaches in the league in Frank Vogel. Vogel did an excellent job in scheming the defense up to shut teams down in the NBA Playoffs last season and he had a firm grip on the team’s rotation.
Not only that, but he was not afraid to adjust, whether that was starting Dwight Howard to disrupt Nikola Jokic or starting Markieff Morris as the small-ball center.
Vogel has plenty of playoff experience and just got done coaching his team to an NBA Championship. That is going to bode extremely well in a potential series against Brooklyn, especially with the reasons already outlined.
Coaching (and not adjusting) can absolutely hurt a team in the NBA Playoffs and we saw a prime example of that with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers did not have good defensive depth and Doc Rivers continually had the Clippers’ worst bench defenders sharing the court, allowing the Nuggets to climb back into several games that they should have lost.
Nash is a legend and he might be a fantastic head coach in the future but right now, I am taking Frank Vogel every day of the week.