The Pistons are in search of a new head coach and former Hawks coach Mike Woodson might answer the call.
John Kuester, head coach of the Detroit Pistons since 2009, was fired this past Sunday. Kuester had compiled a 57-107 record in his two years with Detroit, was known for constantly butting heads with several of the team’s veterans (Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey) and even managed to instigate a player uprising that nearly resulted in a full-out boycott.
Former Hawks coach Mike Woodson
So the team could certainly use a fresh face. Woodson is a strong candidate, although I’m not sure he completely fits the bill. The Pistons are looking to instill a renewed emphasis on defense next season, and Woodson was known for coaching the Hawks with a tedious, isolation-focused offense.
On the other hand, Woodson played an integral role in shaping the Piston’s defense as an assistant coach under Mike Brown in 2003-2004 when they won the championship. Woodson was known for getting the most out of defensive players, and Detroit managed to limit opponents to 41% shooting from the field that season.
So the change in philosophy Woodson demonstrated in Atlanta could be the product of the talent he was working with rather than a fundamental shift in coaching style.
Other potential candidates for the job include Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson and Timberwolves assistant Bill Laimbeer. It is rumored that Kuester will head to LA for an assistant coaching position under Brown who was recently appointed Lakers head coach.