"The advantages are they had a chance to evaluate the players and have an idea in their minds when they get here, what they have and what they have to recruit, the strengths and weaknesses of the team," Alvarez said. "As I told the team, we have a very good nucleus coming back next year, a lot of juniors, and they have a chance to be an outstanding squad again next year."
By then, Alvarez, who turned 66 a few days ago, will be back in his office and probably glad of it. So credit him with making the best of a bad situation. But if you watched Alvarez come out of the tunnel at the start of the game, taking two quick steps before veering sharply left to get out of the way of his onrushing players, you know he hardly needed reminding that coaching is a young man's game.
Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at)ap.org and follow him at Twitter.com/JimLitke.
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