Tom Thibodeau joined a select club of men in 2021 when he took down the NBA’s Coach of the Year Award for the second time. He did this by turning the Knicks into a team worthy of its playoff berth, having transformed them into a defensive unit that gave their rivals nightmares.
With the 2022 season rolling on at a pace there are already some obvious candidates emerging for this year’s award, but which coach will see their name go up in lights by the time the summer rolls around?
Golden State’s Steve Kerr is one of the betting favorites for the award this term, but will he be overlooked for a coach who is not able to call on the genius of Steph Curry?
One of the betting front runners, Golden State’s Steve Kerr is in with a good shout of receiving the award simply for picking Steph Curry week in and week out. Of course, it is precisely for this reason that he may not have the honor bestowed on him come the season’s close because the award often goes to those coaches who were not backed up by generational talents who could win games single-handed. That said, knitting a functional team around such a precocious talent as Curry is not always an easy job, and if Kerr can get his Warriors to live up to the short NBA betting odds being bestowed upon them, then he should certainly be strongly considered for this respected accolade. After all, there have been no shortage of pundits and NBA experts betting against the Warriors getting it done this season.
Another coach riding on the coattails of a legendary player is Monty Williams, who partly has Chris Paul to thank for making the Suns a team capable of going all the way to the NBA Championship game in 2021. However, few can argue with the job that Williams has done in Phoenix, turning an average side into one that is now considered among the elite top three or four franchises in the entire league system. His own personal story is also one that will pull on the heartstrings of those who judge the award, as Williams has battled against more personal adversity than most other people in his profession. He has also come close to winning the award before, coming second to Tom Thibodeau last season. The safe money is going on Williams to hit the jackpot in 2022, and perhaps also go one better in the NBA finals to boot.
Donovan’s impact in Chicago has been undeniable with the former Thunder head honcho turning the Bulls into a force to be reckoned with, after years spent out in the NBA wilderness. 42 games into the regular season his charges were boasting a 27-15 record, and if that sort of form continues then it will be hard to deny that Donovan is worthy of the Coach of the Year Award for 2020. There is still a long way to go, though, and anything can and will happen in the NBA.
There is little doubting the fact that former playing legend Steve Nash has more playing talent at his disposal than any other coach in the NBA, with the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Blake Griffin all being on the books in Brooklyn. Of course, with such an embarrassment of riches comes pressure to succeed, and nothing short of an NBA Championship crown will suffice for the Nets this term. If Nash can deliver that then there is no reason why he shouldn’t be considered the best coach out there in 2022. But there’s no room for slip-ups in the postseason, otherwise, the critics will be sharpening their knives.