Now, before I get labeled as an apologist for Paul Westphal, I would like to say that I am not sure he is the right fit for the team long term. That remains to be seen (and I believe that should depend more on player development than wins and losses).
That being said, watching how this season has unfolded and how he has been blamed for pretty much everything under the sun, I think we should also recognize that he has not been dealt a very good hand.
The reason is this team is a vastly different from the one we ended with last year. Not only in terms of personnel, but also in terms of style of play and offensive philosophy.
The biggest change between this year and last has been the of the play of Tyreke, which is the one thing clearly that hasn't been Paul's fault. Tyreke hasn't been able to replicate the success of his rookie year. In fact, I would argue that he is responsible for most of our troubles this year. Whether he isn't getting it done because of his bum foot or because the league has caught up with him (i.e., has learned how to take away his ability to drive by packing the paint) remains to be seen, but what is clear is that we can't build our offense solely around him.
When we ended the season last year, Tyreke was the focal point of our offense, and the offense worked with moderate success. This year that offensive philosophy has failed miserably and PW has had to change on the fly. Furthermore, I believe Tyreke's tendency to dominate the ball has probably caused some problems in the locker room, which only makes things more difficult for PW. If we were winning, it wouldn't be an issue, but we aren't, so players have got to be unhappy when one player dominates the ball.
As a result, PW has had to change the offensive philosophy without pissing off arguably our best player in Tyreke. This can't be easy. In the last few games, I have seen the Kings push the ball more to get fast break opportunities with success. Also, I have seen Demarcus get the ball deep in the paint more in the half court with success. I like the thinking and I am excited to see how it develops, but it is not something that is going to happen overnight.
Simply put, I think PW is trying some things that have started to pay dividends and he is trying to do so without alienating Tyreke, which he seems to have managed so far.
Again, it seems like a very delicate situation from where I am sitting.