Mike Brown, the new favorite?
We tend to criticize them when things go wrong, and they’re often the first lock to jump if a team is in crisis, but NBA coaches can do a great job, too, and this Coach’s Ranking is an opportunity to offer them some light. COY for the year or close friends. Joe Mazzulla, Mike Brown, Mike Malone, Jacque Vaughn, who else will win the prized statuette?
(Statistics as of February 2)
#10 – JB Bickerstaff (-2)
Record: 31-22, fifth in Eastern Conference
We start with our bouncer keeping the rating gate and pick this month for JB Bickerstaff. The Cavs coach still boasts a very satisfactory record at the accounting level, but we feel that Cleveland is a bit behind the best teams in the East. While the Cavs are still searching for the right formula to refuel at full strength, everyone is getting on board with the technique. Despite an exceptional late rush, good old Jean-Baptiste will not be nominated for coach of the year.
#9 – Rick Carlyle (-3)
Record: 24-28, tenth in the Eastern Conference
Rick Carlisle is still part of the gratin at the end of January, but given the Pacers’ descent into hell for so many games, we have a feeling that won’t be for much longer. Tyrese Haliburton on the sidelines, Indiana can’t even tie his shoelaces. The guard’s upcoming return should restore some order to the house, and who knows, maybe the Pacers will last until the contest. In any case, Myles Turner’s extension gives the impression that the end of the season will not be as messy as last year’s.
#8 – Will Hardy (starter)
Record: 27-26, ninth in the Western Conference
We left them at the tough end of 2022, but our Jazz friends are still there and above all still in contention for a playoff spot. Between Lauri Markkane’s All-Star performances, Jordan Clarkson’s hot shots, the staff’s pleasant surprises (especially Kessler), this Utah team is far from the punching bag we all expected. For the first time on the NBA bench, Will Hardy was able to assemble his group quickly. We now wait to see what the sequel has in store as the franchise was announced to be very active at the trade deadline.
#7 – Mike Budenholzer (+2)
Record: 34-17, second in Eastern Conference
Will the twists of fate ever leave the Bucks alone? You have four hours. More seriously, Mike Budenholzer still has to tinker constantly in recent months. Khris Middleton just returned to form, now we have Bobby Portis squatting in the hospital, we’re still waiting for Milwaukee to be full and 100%. Will it happen before the end of the season? We wish them, especially since it’s a way to get a new NBA Finals two years after a title. It will be more true if the franchise makes a few smart moves at the deadline (Crowder?).
#6 – Willie Green (-5)
Record: 26-26, tenth in the Western Conference
It’s a cold shower for the leader of our latest ranking, Willie Green. Unfortunately, there is no rebuke to the former rearguard, who saw their leaders chaining the passages to the hospital. Between Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, the black cat has almost settled down at the Smoothie King Center. While the Warriors were able to fill the void for a while, eventually reality caught up with the Pels with a nine-game losing streak and now a place in the soft underbelly of the Western Conference. We’re not taking anything away from the work done by Green, but at some point we’re ignoring the balance sheet.
#5 – Taylor Jenkins (-2)
Record: 32-19, second in the Western Conference
For two years, Taylor Jenkins’ song could have been the “always-placed never-winner.” While Memphis has been wildly inconsistent in recent weeks, matching its all-time winning streak and no longer putting one foot in front of the other, it’s still not much to blame the Grizzlies guru. If this group wants to go far in the playoffs, adversity on the sidelines remains a challenge to manage. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the trade deadline there, too, as the Oursons could get reinforcements to help make their run in the spring. (OG Anunoby?)
#4 – Mike Malone (=)
Record: 35-16, first in the Western Conference
Mike Malone, ranked fourth in our rankings, is currently having a great season with the Rockies. Denver is number one in the West and is close to the Celtics for the best record, the entire group is on the rise, with Nikola Jokic close to his third straight MVP. In a word, everything is rolled and, in principle, it is enough to win a small figurine. We say good in principle, because we’re leaving Malone at the foot of the podium in favor of three guys who each managed to shine despite a frame that wasn’t necessarily a gift. The balance sheet definitely counts, but narrative also plays a role in the bottom line.
#3 – Jacques Vaughan (+2)
Record: 31-20 (29-15 since tenure), fourth in Eastern Conference
Who would have thought that Jacques Vaughan would lead the Nets back to being one of the best teams in the league? We would not cut our hands during his appointment. It must be said that the first steps of the favorite bearded man from Brooklyn number one in Orlando did not attract the attention of observers. However, the leaders’ bets paid off and Vaughan managed to keep his players true to his word, ending 2022 with a huge winning streak. The rise has been slowed by an injury to Kevin Durant, but the Nets will be legitimate late-season contenders in the East. Major credit to Vaughn considering the turmoil within the franchise upon his arrival.
#2 – Joe Mazzulla (=)
Record: 37-15, first in the Eastern Conference.
He never leaves our podium, but in second place this time we meet Joe Mazzulla. Who still thinks of Ime Udoka today? Interim coach There probably aren’t many people in Boston who do that job. His superiors only praise his methods, except for a few (rare) slumps, the Celtics are on top of the League and they are the clear favorites to play in the NBA Finals again next June. It will also be interesting to see Mazzulla make the first playoffs so easily. We are strangely unconcerned about him yet.
#1 – Mike Brown (+6)
Record: 29-21, third in Western Conference
First season award for the Royals since 2010? This is possible! No Sacramento player or coach has been able to return to the top since Tyreke Evans and his Rookie of the Year title. Mike Brown has an ever-increasing record for Coach of the Year. Bringing the Kings back to the playoffs? The problem is already big considering. Taking them to the podium in the West in their first year? We are witnessing a real revolution in California and everyone is starting to love this long mocked “Team Beam”. This is to say that Mike Brown has been able to turn things around since his arrival to the franchise.