The success level for most NBA players is determined by a combination of teammates, coaching and overall situation. An insane amount of individual talent is required just to make it this far, but maximizing that potential often comes down to whether a coach can identify his player's strengths and put him in a position to succeed.
Here are six players who would benefit greatly if they were able to play for a different head coach.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF, New York Knicks
Porzingis is in only his second NBA season, but it's already clear that he's capable of doing so much more than he's allowed to in Jeff Hornacek's offense. Both Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose average more field goal attempts per game, and Porzingis isn't used nearly enough in pick-and-roll situations.
Once Melo's contract is up at the conclusion of next season, New York needs to go all-in on rebuilding around Porzingis as the star -- with or without Hornacek patrolling the sidelines.
Reggie Jackson, PG, Detroit Pistons
Jackson missed a chunk of games at the beginning of the season due to injury, but he's started in 41 games, and his scoring is down significantly from his production level of last year.
He didn't have a great relationship with his Oklahoma City teammates before coming to the Pistons, and it appears as though Stan Van Gundy is growing tired of Jackson, too. He's openly considered benching him in favor of Ish Smith, not an ideal scenario when we're talking about a player who's under contract for more than $52 million over the next three seasons.
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Jahlil Okafor, C, Philadelphia 76ers
Okafor's numbers and minutes are down significantly from last season, and for a player who is only decent on one end of the floor, those are some huge red flags.
Part of the problem was the logjam of frontcourt players in Philadelphia at the beginning of the season, when Joel Embiid was still healthy and Nerlens Noel was still on the squad. But the fact that Brett Brown has been unable to coax any noticeable defensive effort out of his young big man is a strong sign that Jah may be better off playing somewhere else.
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Greg Monroe, C, Milwaukee Bucks
Monroe is averaging 22.2 minutes per game off the bench this season, which is the lowest number of his seven-year NBA career. Milwaukee is moving toward a break-neck style with Giannis Antetokounmpo running the show, and Monroe's more plodding offensive game seems to be less of a fit for these Bucks as time goes on.
The problem here is that Monroe is the highest-paid player on the Bucks this season, and that's not great for someone the team seems to be increasingly squeezing out. He has a player option for next season, however, which means he may just scrap the Milwaukee experiment entirely this summer to pursue a better fit in free agency.
Nikola Mirotic, PF, Chicago Bulls
Mirotic's shooting percentages are down across the board in his third NBA season, and the Bulls have been concerned about his struggles since early in the season.
But a 26-year-old shouldn't be regressing like this, and it's more likely than not that Fred Hoiberg isn't pressing the necessary buttons to put Mirotic in position to succeed. Add the ever-changing roster to the equation -- one that went through a significant overhaul over the summer and then lost two rotation players in Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott at the trade deadline -- and it's no wonder Mirotic is having trouble finding his way in Chicago.
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Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Hear me out.
There's no question that Westbrook is on a statistical tear this season, leading the league in scoring while averaging a triple-double stat line that hasn't been seen since 1962. But the Thunder are in just seventh place in the West, with the worst record in the conference among teams that are over .500 in terms of winning percentage.
Westbrook's average of 24.2 field goal attempts per game is the most of his career, but his field goal percentage hasn't been this low since his second NBA season back in 2010. And, he's recording the highest usage rate in NBA history, which essentially means he's dominating the ball offensively in a manner that we've never seen.
The Thunder would be better as a team if Westbrook dialed it back a bit, and that falls on head coach Billy Donovan to reign in his superstar. Westbrook running wild is entertaining as hell, but Oklahoma City would be a far better team if he focused on efficiency over volume and looked more frequently to get his teammates involved.