The NBA’s Coach of the Year award often transcends coaching prowess, relying on a combination of team success and surpassing preseason expectations. Recent trends show that winning is a crucial factor, with top-four seeds dominating the winners’ circle. Additionally, outperforming initial projections is vital, exemplified by Mike Brown’s success with the Kings last year.
As the 2023 NBA season unfolds, discussions around potential Coach of the Year candidates are gaining momentum. Traditional favorites like Steve Kerr and Michael Malone find themselves in the mix, despite their teams being considered pre-season powerhouses. However, the article suggests that these established teams might struggle to meet the lofty expectations required for their coaches to claim the award.
The narrative explores how certain long-shot coaches, such as Joe Mazzulla, Michael Malone, and Adrian Griffin, are currently favored in betting markets. However, it questions whether these coaches would receive adequate credit if their star-studded teams indeed surpassed expectations.
The article then introduces two coaches who have quietly excelled early in the season: Nick Nurse of the 76ers and Chris Finch of the Timberwolves. Both coaches have led their teams to impressive starts, outscoring opponents by over 10 points per 100 possessions. Despite being underappreciated in the betting markets, Nurse and Finch emerge as potential dark horses for the Coach of the Year award.
The piece delves into the strengths of the 76ers and Timberwolves, emphasizing their noteworthy victories against strong opponents. It also highlights the potential MVP candidacy of Anthony Edwards, who could be a game-changer for Finch’s Timberwolves.
In conclusion, the article posits that Nurse and Finch are the early frontrunners for the Coach of the Year based on historical patterns and their teams’ strong performances. It suggests that their coaching narratives, combined with their teams’ success, could make them compelling candidates in a competitive race for the prestigious award.