Portland Trail Blazers: Pros and cons of hiring Mike D’Antoni

Mike D'Antoni, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Mike D'Antoni, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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The Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly identified some top targets for the coaching search and one of the names will be very familiar to NBA fans: Mike D’Antoni.

D’Antoni is a veteran play caller in the NBA and could be considered a retread. He’s helmed the bench for five different teams and served as an assistant for two additional ones.

With an extensive history, D’Antoni has given us plenty of material to evaluate how successful he’ll probably be as the next head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Mike D’Antoni is a safe bet for success, but is he great enough to get the Blazers and himself to the pinnacle?

There’s no doubt that D’Antoni has been an extremely successful coach in the NBA, but the question remains if he’ll ever be able to win a championship.

He’s gotten extremely close twice, but has yet to reach the NBA finals. In 2005-2006, he led the extremely progressive Phoenix Suns to the Western Conference Finals. Behind the brilliance of MVP point guard Steve Nash and D’Antoni’s “Seven Seconds or Less” scheme, the Suns led the league in offensive efficiency that year.

That innovative offense pushed them over the Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers in a thriller first-round series that went seven games and another seven game faceoff against an upstart Los Angeles Clippers squad. The team then fizzled out against the Dallas Mavericks.

D’Antoni had another good shot at a Finals appearance with his Houston Rockets team. Behind the All-NBA backcourt combo of Chris Paul and James Harden, those Rockets teams probably gave the Golden State Warriors dynasty their biggest challenge.

Chalk it up to either an unfair disparity in talent or CP3’s injury in 2017-2018, but D’Antoni fell short of the Finals again.

Is there any reason to believe that he’ll be able to raise both the Blazers ceiling and his own and finally clear the Western Conference Finals hurdle? Or should we expect more heartbreaking close calls from Coach D’Antoni?

Here are the pros and cons of hiring Mike D’Antoni to be the next coach of the Portland Trail Blazers: