Top 5 Early Candidates for 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year
Who Will Be the NBA's Coach of the Year?
Is it ever too early to take a look at candidates for Coach of the Year in the NBA? No, I didn’t think so, either.
You have to closely examine every step of the way a team’s coach reacts to the season's rises and falls. The early part of a season is just as important as later parts when considering candidates for this award.
Though how a team finished a season is more critically analyzed than how it starts, making sure his team gets off to a quality start is one of the most important goals for a coach. Any coach knows that early success will turn into a confident momentum through the first half of a season.
Last year’s winner was the Denver Nuggets’ George Karl, who won the award for the first time then retired shortly after. He led the Nuggets to a No. 3 seed in the Western Conference after turning a second half record of 24-4 while navigating through the third-youngest roster in the NBA. He also led the team to a 15-game winning streak from Feb. 23 to March 23.
Candidates vying for this award have to hold similar qualities and accomplishments as Karl in order to take home the honor. There have been a few coaches this season who have tinkered with young rosters while turning them into contending teams.
This is the case with a couple teams in the Eastern Conference which has been an overall terrible conference this season. Not all is bad, however. There has been come good coaching coming out of the conference, and two coaches appear on this list.
5. Gregg Popovich
Once again Gregg Popovich has his San Antonio Spurs near the top of the Western Conference standings with a 19-5 record. His veteran lineup has complete confidence in going far into the playoffs after a devastating loss in last year’s NBA Finals. San Antonio leads the league in assists per game, which is indicative of Popovich’s unselfish coaching style.
4. Brad Stevens
Although the Boston Celtics are under .500 at 12-14, rookie coach Brad Stevens miraculously has his team in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Stevens’ transition from college basketball has been remarkable, and he has turned a team once considered one of the worst in the NBA into a playoff contender. We’ll see where Boston inevitably ends up in the Eastern Conference standings, but the job Stevens has done can’t go without recognition.
3. Doc Rivers
Doc Rivers has lived up to expectations in Los Angeles. While the Clippers are not the best team in the Western Conference record-wise, Rivers has led his team to a 17-9 record and a fourth seed in the conference. The Clippers will continue to climb in the standings, and Rivers’ name will continue to be considered for this award. He is an affable human being, and his coaching style has transitioned to Los Angeles wonderfully.
2. Terry Stotts
Terry Stotts has led the Portland Trail Blazers to become the story of the year so far in the NBA. Portland holds the best record in the NBA at 22-4, a drastic improvement from the 13-13 it held through 26 games last season. Stotts has the Blazers' offense scoring the most points in the league and has helped Damian Lillard turn into a superstar. Stotts he is leading the party in Portland toward what will surely be the franchise's first postseason appearance in three seasons.
1. Frank Vogel
Frank Vogel is the only coach in the NBA that can steal the Coach of the Year Award away from Terry Stotts. The Pacers have simply been the best team in the NBA this season. They have the best defense in the league, allowing just 90 points per game. Indiana was 14-12 at this point last season, but the team really started to click in the postseason. Vogel has been able to transfer that momentum to the start of this season quite easily. He should be the clear early favorite for NBA Coach of the Year honors.