Westhead criticism takes a turn

October 22, 1990|By Shaun Powell | Shaun Powell,Knight-Ridder News Service

MIAMI -- Ten years ago, Paul Westhead was fired by the Los Angeles Lakers because players criticized his stale, methodical and unimaginative offense.

How ironic that today, Westhead has returned to NBA coaching only to face severe criticism of his shoot-every-seven-seconds approach.

Basically, Westhead's hectic offense in Denver has been a liability to his defense in the exhibition season.

While exhibition games carry little weight in the long run, the scores of these Nuggets games cannot be ignored:

Phoenix 186, Denver 123.

Houston 156, Denver 126.

Atlanta 194, Denver 166.

Boston 173, Denver 155.

The problem may not be with the system, although opposing coaches question whether players can play that pace for 82 games. Rather, Westhead probably lacks the athletes to play an up-tempo, full-court-press system.

"I'm sure he's re-evaluating to see if he has the personnel to do that," Suns Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons said.

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