So I know there is nothing but Rambis hate out there right now, but I am quite certain that we're in for another season of Rambis-ball next year. Here's is how the scene has played out in my mind and some points I believe to be true:
1. Kurt Rambis has been doing what Glen Taylor and David Kahn told him he could do.
First, these two told Rambis "Hey, this first year is business. We have to clean up our cap situation and we know we already got some players you aren't interested in, but see what you can make out of them. Next year will be your team."
That was year one.
Second, it went more like this "We got you some of the players you were high on, and all of them are young. We know that probably means the team will struggle a bit, but don't worry, its really about finding the core unit of our group and teaching them your system. We want to win, but we want to build this team the right way first. Do your best."
I think year three looks like this.
"Well we have our core team, we got Rubio and a few new vets. Its time to push for the playoffs or else everyone is getting fired."
2. Glen Taylor doesn't give up on personnel easily.
Let's be honest. Taylor hand selected Kahn, and Kahn picked Rambis. None of these guys are interested in giving up on each other just yet.
3. There is some legitimacy in saying this was Rambis' first real year.
Last year was a joke of a team that was purely put together as a rag-tag group of cheap vets that may have been undervalued. None of them were of course as most of them are out of the NBA. That's Kahn's bad. This year has sucked and sucked with Rambis' desired players so this year is Rambis' bad. Still, if I'm Glen Taylor I absolutely give this team (a team that still has a very high potential ceiling if they can figure out defense and get a starting point guard) one more year to look NBA ready. If I fired Rambis now everyone loses, including the fans who have to sit through more transition period.
4. Its a pathetic excuse but it doesn't make it less true. This team was bit hard by the injury bug.
Almost all of our best players this year have dealt with some major time consuming injuries and illnesses. Every team deals with it, but it was comical at times. Wes gets hurt in the summer. Flynn doesn't heal very well. Beasley plays on a bad ankle for 2 months. Darko is constantly hurting himself. Ridnour deals with a hammy. Pek gets hurt. And let's not forget, maybe the biggest one in Martell Webster needing back surgery. Martell has been showing lately what he could have been all year as far as solid scoring and defense are concerned, but instead he's only come one in these last few garbage games.
So folks, step into Glen Taylor's shoes and think about firing Kurt Rambis. If you think he'll do it just because the fans are mad, think again. My honest opinion is that next year is judgment year. I highly doubt there will be a work stoppage. I genuinely think Rubio will play for us in 2012, and along with one of the top 4 players in this years draft and likely one competent veteran, this will be a team looking to make the playoffs. If we fall anywhere short of being a competitive team for the 8th playoff spot, or at least that we're right on the cusp, then the big heads of Kahn and Rambis will roll.