According to veteran hoops scribe (heh, heh, I just wrote 'veteran hoops scribe') Charley Rosen at FoxSports, Mike Dunleavy Sr. is one of a handful of coaches who will begin the season on the hot seat.
While many Citizens of ClipsNation hope that Rosen is correct in his assessment, it seems painfully obvious to me that MDsr is in absolutely no jeopardy this season. Sure, his honeymoon is over and a big step backwards last season deserves serious scrutiny. Locker room chemistry seems to have been a mess, and he pushed hard for a $52M extension for Kaman, who proceeded to backslide. Meanwhile, giving up on a lottery pick this summer doesn't look good to anybody who's paying attention. So yes, this coach really should be on the hot seat. And if we were talking about any other owner than Donald T. Sterling, I'd agree that he'd have to turn things around soon.
But the man hasn't coached a single game under his 4-year, $25M contract extension. Given the fact that the team's only All-Star AND the highest draft pick of the MDsr-era are both injured (two of his three untouchables), DTS has perfectly legitimate cover to allow the team to miss the playoffs this season, save the money he would pay to a new coach, and maybe start worrying about this problem in 2008-2009. Remember, Sterling is the same man who tried to renege on a measly million bucks he owed to Bill Fitch. He's not going to leave $25M on the table. I suppose if the team were to do a Grizzlies-style tank (assuming it's not authorized by the front office) the seat gets warm. But 'second round of the playoffs?' Is Rosen kidding? If the Clippers come within spitting distance of making the post-season at all, MDsr will have earned his extension AND a few votes for COY.
My guess is that MDsr will do his usual solid if unspectacular job, the Clippers will win some games, be respectable enough, and DTS can legitimately put off an expensive problem, at least until next season.