A lot of posts have been made here calling for VDN to be fired as soon as possible. I certainly agree that he is not a very good coach and that is an area that needs to be upgraded for the team to get better. Ok fine, he sucks but there are a few reasons why I don’t see him getting fired this season.
1. The Bulls have had injury issues to 3 of their top 7 players.
Rose is just now bouncing back from the ankle problem and looking more like himself. Tyrus is still out for a while longer, and Hinrich’s return is day to day. The team as constructed, even being optimistic, is about a .500 or a little above that with everything going well (no major injuries, improvement from the younger guys like Noah, Rose, and Tyrus, vets maintaining the level they played last year). There are two unproven rookies and 3 horrible vets as “depth” to help sustain injuries. To put it simply, right now VDN doesn’t have much to choose from.
2. A tough early schedule.
Looking at the schedule, I can honestly say I expected the Bulls to have about 7 or 8 wins at this point. They just so happened to have won some games I thought they would lose (San Antonio, @ Cleveland) and lose some I thought they would win (particularly these last two home games with Toronto and NJ). What has many of us freaking out is how bad they looking doing it and how offensively and defensively inept they have been since the circus trip. Some of this has to do with the injuries; some has to do with VDN. Overall it’s a wash because they are still at 7-12 with a lot more home games coming up and guys (hopefully) coming back from injuries soon.
3. Vinny is still under contract.
JR is not going to pay two coaches at once, so the chances of getting a Jeff Van Gundy or Avery Johnson, guys with cushy TV jobs that can afford to wait for the right situation, are zero. That means promoting one of the assistants (Bickerstaff?). The problem I have with this is, the assistants are already over there and they obviously aren’t making much of a difference now so how much of a difference will one of them make without VDN? My guess is no difference. Pretty much like when that guy who shall not be named took over for Skiles. The teams sees these guys everyday so what difference is one of them going to make unless he has some radically different philosophy ala Phil Jackson versus Doug Collins?
As I see it, barring some major PR catastrophe or unless the team once healthy continues to get blown out, VDN will finish out the season and (hopefully) be replaced at that point.