The awkward coaching search in Atlanta is underway, as former NBA head coach Nate McMillan interviewed with the Hawks for the team's head coaching job on Wednesday, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. What makes the search a bit strange is that current Hawks head coach Larry Drew is still under contract until June 30, and general manager Danny Ferry has not officially ruled out Drew's return.
The GM has started a search for a new coach, but according to Wojnarowski he has "reserved the remote option of revisiting contract extension talks with Drew" if the team fails to secure a deal with someone "Ferry believes is a better fit for the franchise." Now that's it's clear that Drew is Plan B or Plan C for the Hawks, he has been allowed to interview with other teams.
McMillan has already interviewed with the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons, so that may be the reason why Ferry is playing it safe and exploring his options while Drew is still under contract. McMillan previously coached in the league for 12 seasons and compiled a career record of 478-452 (.514) during stops with the Seattle Supersonics and Portland Trail Blazers. The 48-year-old former NBA guard recently served as an assistant coach for team USA Basketball in the 2012 London Olympics.
Bucks blog Brew Hoop looked into McMillan's coaching history when he interviewed in Milwaukee, and the overall numbers point to an offensive emphasis in his systems, despite a slow pace of play:
McMillan is not a defensive-minded head coach, at least according to the numbers. Dan Feldman of PistonPowered did a bit of digging on McMillan and discovered that the 2012-13 Milwaukee Bucks (gulp) ranked as a better defense, using points per possession allowed, than any team McMillan has ever coached. To summarize both ends, based on points per possession stats, 10 of his 12 teams have ranked in the bottom-half of the NBA on defense, compared to a top-10 finish for six of his 12 offenses.
Dave Deckard of Blazer's Edge crafted a more detailed breakdown of what McMillan brings to the table in his chat with Pistons blog, Detroit Bad Boys.