A former Pacers coach has been relieved of his duties in Atlanta after multiple seasons as the Hawks head coach. On Tuesday it was announced the the Hawks were going to be moving on from their head coach in Nate McMillan and named Joe Prunty their interim head coach.
McMillan coached the Pacers as an assistant and head coach for 7 seasons, being promoted to head coach after Frank Vogel had been let go. He navigated the franchise through the departure of Paul George and led the team to multiple playoff appearances with the success of both Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. One of the biggest criticisms of McMillan during his time in Indiana was an inability to make swift halftime adjustments as well as his inability to win in the playoffs.
McMillan initially saw success in Atlanta after replacing Lloyd Pierce (who ironically is working as an assistant coach for the Pacers at the moment), making an unexpected run to the eastern conference finals. Unfortunately, his time in Atlanta after that was marked by significant inability to meet expectations as a franchise.
It is likely that McMillan will continue to garner interest around the league as many front offices will still have respect for a coach that has led multiple franchises and playoff runs in recent years. However, it is yet to be seen who might have the vacancies to garner interest.
Our reflection on McMillan as the Pacers coach:
McMillan was a great coach but sometimes seemed to struggle to adapt to the run-and-gun style that the NBA is seemingly ever more moving towards. It appears that everywhere McMillan has gone, there seems to be a ceiling to what playoff success he is able to accomplish. If McMillan could learn to adapt his system to a more modern style offense, we think that Nate could definitely succeed on the next team that brings him into the fold. If he can’t, we think we might be writing a similar story in the years to come for his next team.