Many seasons, a coach who revives his team the way Jason Kidd did with his Brooklyn Nets beginning in January would be the favorite to win NBA Coach of the Year. Unfortunately for Kidd, however, this will not be one of those seasons.
Because the man who will likely take the honor home at the end of the season will be Portland Trailblazers head coach Terry Stotts.
There’s about as little question regarding Kidd’s candidacy for the award as there is about the sky’s color. When the Nets were getting blown out what seemed like every other night before the New Year, many wondered if he was even going to make it through the season, let alone get Brooklyn into the playoffs the way he has with their 41-34 record. His impact has been undeniable, as the selflessness and hard-nosed defense the team has learned to play over time didn’t just come out of nowhere.
But Stotts will inevitably edge out Kidd due to an even more remarkable turnaround with his Blazers. In 2012-13, Portland finished just 33-49 and last in their division. This season has been a completely different story, though, with the Blazers compiling a 49-28 record with only five games remaining. They currently sit in the fifth spot in the West.
Had Kidd inherited a team that hadn’t made the playoffs the previous season, this might’ve been a toss-up. Stotts gets the edge there, but Kidd has made it clear that he has an extremely bright future as a head coach nonetheless.
That said, it’s only a matter of time until he does get recognized as Coach of the Year.