Category Archives: Coach Rank

Coach Rank: December Update

No movement at the top 7 spots this update– these guys can coach and I haven’t split enough hairs to unseat anyone until number 8.

1. Greg Popovich San Antonio Spurs

2. Tom Thibodeau Chicago Bulls

3. Doc Rivers Los Angeles Micro-Softs

4. Rick Carlisle Dallas Mavericks

5. Jeff Hornacek Phoenix Suns

6. Mike Budenholzer Atlanta Hawks

7. Kevin McHale Houston Rockets

8. Frank Vogel Indiana Pacers

9. Brad Stevens Boston Celtics– This swap is mostly related to the instructive power of just how destructive a force Lance Stephenson is. Neither team is going anywhere this year, and Stevens might be set to drop out of the top 10, but I will have to see how things go and how his system works without Rondo manning the helm.

10. Terry Stots Portland Trailblazers

11. Jason Kidd Milwaukee Bucks– Kidd’s chances of getting these Bucks to the playoffs took a huge hit when he lost Jabari for the year.  I still have him listed as “might be up,” but the top 10 us a hard nut to crack.

12. Dwayne Casey Toronto Raptors

13. Dave Joerger Memphis Grizzlies– listed as “probably up”, but despite the fantastic job he’s doing climbing the ranks at the top is slow work. I have a lot of respect for the system he is running and the way he has the Grizz playing, but the work that Dwayne Casy and Jason Kidd are doing in Toronto and Milwaukee, holds Joerger out of the top 12 for at least another ranking.

14. Steve Kerr Golden State Warriors– A lot of ink has been spilled over how good a job Kerr is doing withe the Warriors. To be fair, he also has the most talented roster in the Western Conference by a long shot, but his coaching has definitely made a difference for a few extra wins. He makes a huge leap for this edition, and has the potential to do more, but like Joeger and Kidd, Kerr will find that the top of these rankings are clogged with coaching royalty which will be very hard to unseat.

15. Stan Van Gundy Detroit Pistons– Van Gundy moves up mostly due to the incompetence (and firings) of those (now) behind him than anything stellar he is doing in Detroit. I will need to see a lot more from him in terms of positive coaching to get above the mid-way mark.

16. Steve Clifford Charlotte Hornets– If his drop comes as a surprise to anyone, you need only mention the name Lance to understand why. Controlling talented but troubled players is a coaches purview, and Clifford’s failings there have led to a pre-season playoff pick’s steep decline.

17. Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets– He was listed as probably down for much of the intervening time, but ended up sliding only two spots. Shaw simply cannot seem to make a jumbled Denver roster full of talent fit, ad its beginning to become obvious that its a coaching deficiency as well as a roster construction problem.

18. Lionel Hollins Brooklyn Nets– We can see Lionel Hollins skills in how he is doing with the Nets compared to Kidd last year, and how Dave Joeger is doing with the Girzzlies two teams where rosters from previous regimes are essentially intact.  Joeger has the Grizz playing like the Leagues best, something Hollins couldn’t do even with a more in his prime Zac Randolph, while Hollins’ system simply cannot get as much play from the collection of former superstars current wheeling their walkers onto the floor for the Nets that Kidd did a year ago.

19. Flip Saunders Minnesota Timberwolves

20. Monty Williams New Orleans Pelicans

20. Michael Malone Sacramento Kings(Final Ranking) before his untimely firing, Malone was ranked 20th with a score of “probably up” for the December update.  How many coaches was he going to move ahead of?  Probably at least Monty Williams, Flip Saunders, Lionel Hollins and Brian Shaw (with SVG also moving up).  That means that a coach who was at worst, the 16th best coach in the league was fired before the likes of Byron Scott.  I get that record matters, but Malone (fired with his MVP candidate sidelined with an uncommon illness) will get another chance and will be a better coach than quit a few of those still employed in these rankings. Despite what the Bulls have done the last two years, its just not reasonable to expect a coach to win while his MVP caliber player is out for long stretches.

21. Scott Brooks Oklahoma City Thunder

22. Erik Spoelstra Miami Heat

23. Quinn Snyder Utah Jazz– I’ve liked what I’ve seen from the Jazz.  After years of stalled developments, Derrick Favors, Trey Burke, and Gordan Heyward finally look like average NBA rookies. This might be a compare and contrast of how bad Ty Corbin was, but I think the former Spurs assistant knows what he’s doing as a coach, and I’ve moved him ahead of other tanktastic coaches in Vaughn and Brown.

24. Jacque Vaughn Orlando Magic

25.Brett Brown Philadelphia 76ers

26. Randy Wittmann Washington Wizards

27. David Blatt Cleveland Cavaliers

28. Derek Fisher New York Knicks

Blatt moves up a few spots by virtue of Fisher and Scott showing how bad they are as coaches. Cleveland finally seems to be getting their act together, however I am not certain that Lebron James isn’t the head coach of that team yet.

29. Byron Scott Los Angeles Lakers– Scott is saved from the bottom spot by the entrance of new head coach Ty Corbin.  I’ve watched about as much Lakers as I can stomach the last few weeks.  Its not just that Kobe dominates the ball, its that the entire system the Lakers run seems to be designed to have players (Kobe, Swaggy P, et al) take turns dominating the ball, and opening players up for inefficient shots. Add in some explosive Kobe vs. the rest of the squad stuff (“these guys ain’t got shit for me”) and you have the makings of a bad coach.

30. Ty Corbin– Corbin was a bad coach in Utah, who failed to develop a string of promising players, or to put together anything resembling a decent system. He can still redeem himself, but in this place he seems like an ownership patsy, whose basically a place holder for when they decide to put in a real coach next year.

Coach Rank: Week 2 Update

1. Greg Popovich San Antonio Spurs

2. Tom Thibodeau Chicago Bulls

3. Doc Rivers Los Angeles Micro-Softs

4. Rick Carlisle Dallas Mavericks

5. Jeff Hornacek Phoenix Suns

6. Mike Budenholzer Atlanta Hawks– After watching the Hawks in action this week I had coach Bud listed as “maybe up one” for a long time. But even coming off back to back losses, I couldn’t demote Hornacek yet. I need to watch both these coaches a bit more, but Buneholzer is on my “rising stars” list. Its just hard to move up in the top.

7. Kevin McHale Houston Rockets

8. Brad Stevens Boston Celtics

9. Frank Vogel Indiana Pacers– Vogel is another coach who is working very hard to rise up in the rankings. He has delivered wins over Miami and Chicago in the last week, and has a team of castoffs and deep bench players playing very well around his one remaining All-Star. Meanwhile Stevens has the Celtics looking plucky. McHale’s Rockets have floundered after their hot start,  but even with a 69 point victory, its hard to demote a 9-1 coach. I’d consider McHale on notice for a drop, however, and I will be watching the Rockets next week.

10. Terry Stots Portland Trailblazers

11. Jason Kidd Milwaukee Bucks– Third coach in a row where what I have to say is “I’m impressed, but there’s not enough justification yet.” Kidd has the Bucks at 5-5, having just unseated the Heat. Their defense is atrocious and there are un-watchable stretches of mistakes, turnovers, and bad decisions– but the Bucks two best players are both 19 and in their 1st and 2nd years respectively. Kidd has the Bucks moving the ball, moving their bodies when they aren’t, and taking a pretty good shot selection. He’s also figured out that positions be damned Giannis and Jabari both need to be starting very quickly in this season. I’m going to have to watch the Bucks again next week and watch the Blazers to compare the job of the guy ahead of Kidd in these rankings.

12. Dwayne Casey Toronto Raptors

13. Steve Clifford Charlotte Hornets

14. Dave Joerger Memphis Grizzlies

15. Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets– I had Shaw listed as probably down after watching as much of the Nuggets as I could stomach, but the coaches just behind him haven’t been impressing and I didn’t have time to watch the Pistons this week– I will the Nuggets, Nets, and Pistons next week and there will likely be some change in these three’s order. Malone and Kerr are breathing down this clump’s neck though as well as the Kings and Warrior’s have both looked impressive and well coached.

16. Lionel Hollins Brooklyn Nets

17. Stan Van Gundy Detroit Pistons

18. Flip Saunders Minnesota Timberwolves

19. Monty Williams New Orleans Pelicans

20. Michael Malone Sacramento Kings

21. Steve Kerr Golden State Warriors— Rookie coach climb alert. His time under Coaches Jackson and Popavich have served Kerr well– he’s got the Warriors in the top 10 in points scored, points allowed, rebounds, and assists.

22. Scott Brooks Oklahoma City Thunder– The Thunder are almost keeping afloat. Brooks moved up a spot by maintaining the same spot as he outpaced coach Spo on the “bad coach, good team” train.

23. Erik Spoelstra Miami Heat– Far too many of the Heat’s possessions involve four guys standing around at the three point line while a fifth guy dribbles then one of them misses a contested shot. The ball sticks, the players stand, and these aren’t known sharp shooters– Deng has never been an ace three point shooter, Bosh while good for a center has struggled from the line and done his best work when he has gotten inside, and watching Josh McRoberts and his 25% stand out there is just inexcusable. The only time the Heat look good is in transition. Add in Norris Cole falling off far enough to make my original assessment of “can’t develop talent” seems appropriate. For a guy whose supposed to be a video room genius, Spoelstra just hasn’t looked so great when “Hey, you guys are three of the best 10 players in the League, just go do your thing” stopped being a valid coaching strategy.

24. Jacque Vaughn Orlando Magic

25.Brett Brown Philadelphia 76ers

26. Randy Wittmann Washington Wizards

27. Byron Scott Los Angeles Lakers

28. Quinn Snyder Utah Jazz– I liked what I saw from the Jazz. The team is looking plucky. I’m not sure that plucky is enough, but for a team built on average prospects from the lower lottery without a single true star, the Jazz have forged a kind of identity and carved out some wins in the tough West. I think it speaks a lot to Snyder’s future prospects, but I am not sure this roster will serve him very well towards those ends.

29. Derek Fisher New York Knicks

30. David Blatt Cleveland Cavaliers– Their offense is coming together, and the wins are starting to trickle in, but the kind of locker room dissension, and the sinking feeling that Lebron is the player/coach/GM of the Cavs leaves a lot to be desired. He started at the top of the rookies based on Alpha order, but has fallen to the bottom of the league– don’t worry though, I am sure Byron Scott’s despicable coaching job in LA will bring him down here sooner or later, and I have not been impressed by the 76ers or Magic and their coaching strategies, so there may be a raise for the Euro coach soon.

Coach Rank: Week 1 Update

With between 4 and 6 games in the book at the end of the night, it’s time to kick off our first Coach Rank of the regular Season!

Quick reminder of our starting rules. . .

1. Rookie coaches started at the bottom, raked alphabetically– they will have to prove their way up from their and sort out.

2. No points for adequately achieving or under achieving with super talented rosters (the Vinny Del Negro Principle)

3. Having no system on either side of the ball is unacceptable.

4. Rankings are cumulative and incremental. Coaches can move up or down, sometimes even by several spots, but one good/bad week/month doesn’t always override the body of work from the rest of the season and previous years.

Pre-season rankings can be found here:

 

1. Greg Popovich San Antonio Spurs — To lose the spot Pop is going to have to, you know, do something bad.

2. Tom Thibodeau Chicago Bulls

3. Doc Rivers Los Angeles Micro-Softs

Our first spot swap of the season! There’s no shame in losing to Boogie and the Kings or to Golden State. This swap is based on the incredible degree of difficulty for what Thibs has Chicago doing right now.

To tick off the accomplishments– 1. 5-1 record with the one loss being in overtime to Lebron, 2. A rotation that includes four new additions, 3. Missing at least one starter in every game, 4. Took one of the worst offensive teams from last year, reinvented the offense around a combination of post play, ball motion and cuts, and three point shots that is averaging over 100 per game.

That said, the Bulls defense and rebounding have slipped, so if those trends continue, Thibs could start to slip in these rankings.

4. Rick Carlisle Dallas Mavericks– holding steady, Carlisle reincorporated Tyson Chandler and folded in Chandler Parsons who has joined Monta at 17 points per game to round out a big three with Dirk.

5. Jeff Hornacek Phoenix Suns– Hornacek has folded in Isiah Thomas pretty well to make that three guard set work.

6. Mike Budenholzer Atlanta Hawks– the Hawks woes aren’t all Budenholzer’s fault, their three losses are all to playoff teams from last year.

7. Kevin McHale Houston Rockets– has the Rockets singing with some addition by subtraction in letting Parsons and Lin walk. Keeping post contract Ariza engaged and transforming a poor defensive team from last year into the second best in the league (for now) have McHale on the biggest jump here. (11 last week).

8. Brad Stevens Boston Celtics– the Celtics are reinventing into a Spurs style offense, and are looking good on that end, if abysmal on the other.

9. Frank Vogel Indiana Pacers– the Captain of a sinking ship this year; how engaged the Pacers stay as the losses mount will say a lot.

10. Terry Stots Portland Trailblazers

11. Jason Kidd Milwaukee Bucks– going to need to watch the Bucks more closely to see what’s going on here, Kidd has most slipped due to other’s good work and it will take time to evaluate his performance with this young roster.

12. Dwayne Casey Toronto Raptors

13. Steve Clifford Charlotte Hornets

14. Dave Joerger Memphis Grizzlies– The Grizzlies are looking dominant this year as well, and Joeger has them determined not to start off poorly as they did due to injuries last year.

15. Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets

16. Lionel Hollins Brooklyn Nets

17. Stan Van Gundy Detroit Pistons

18. Flip Saunders Minnesota Timberwolves

19. Monty Williams New Orleans Pelicans

20. Michael Malone Sacramento Kings

Williams and Malone both had some proving to do coming into this season. The Kings are off to a hot start, and Malone has the team working through their talented big man Cousins and improving despite losing Thomas. Williams’ Pelicans are putting out maximum effort right now, and new acquisition Omir Asik has looked to be a dominant pairing with Anthony Davis on the glass. Bother will bear closer watching as the season goes on.

21. Erik Spoelstra Miami Heat– I have to admit that losing Lebron and still coming out strong, reinvented around different pieces and the development of Norris Cole into a legitimate NBA player has me rethinking my stance on Spoelstra. Will need to see more for me to permanently flip on him though– after all, had Spoelstra been able to develop any of the late first round picks he had over the past four years, Lebron may have seen the possibility of getting past ‘Not two. . . ‘ in Miami instead of bolting for younger supporting players.

22. Scott Brooks Oklahoma City Thunder

23. Jacque Vaughn Orlando Magic

24.Brett Brown Philadelphia 76ers

25. Randy Wittmann Washington Wizards

26. Byron Scott Los Angeles Lakers– It is rapidly beginning to look like Scott was hired because he was a poor choice for a coach. No one expected the Lakers to win, but Scott’s attitudes towards the modern game shows he may be stuck in the past.

26. Steve Kerr Golden State Warriors

28. Derek Fisher New York Knicks

29. Quinn Snyder Utah Jazz

30. David Blatt Cleveland Cavaliers– the Cavs are going to figure things out eventually, but a 1-3 start with the team ranking in the bottom third of the league in basically every category (19th in points scored, 23rd in points allowed, 22nd in rebounds, and 30th in assists) despite having a four time MVP and two more All-Stars has Blatt as not only the worst of the rookies, but the worst in the league right now.

NBA Coach Rank

This season I plan to do a weekly post of NBA Coach rankings 1-30, sliding coaches up as they prove competence and down as they show utter lack or the same.  A few ground rules for how I will be rating things:

1. Rookie Coaches start at the bottom alphabetically.  Frankly, whatever David Blatt or Quinn Snyder has done overseas or whatever Derek Fisher or Steve Kerr did as players (and General Managers) basically tells us absolutely nothing about how they will be as NBA head coaches.  Sorry Quinn SNyder, you will have to show it to move up out of the dog house.

2. No credit for adequately achieving or under achieving with talented rosters.  This is going to be aimed mostly at coaches like Erik Spoelstra now that Mike Brown is once again fired.  Sorry, but when you have the best player on the planet the standard of “great coach” raises up a bit.  Things like “having no offensive (or defensive) system still matter, and if in any game there are more than a handful of possessions where the play call was obviously “just let player X do whatever” coaches will not be getting credit for the times when that works. Which leads us to. . .

3. Having no system on either end of the floor is absolutely unacceptable.  I call this the “Vinny Del Negro Corollary”.  As someone who watched the Bulls struggle to mediocre results and first round exits for two years under Vinny, its painfully obvious when a team has no plan.  Plan is the coaching staff, and by extension the head coaches purview.  I don’t care if you are defensive (or offensive) minded coach– your squad has to have a plan on the other end of the floor.  Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni are two serious former abusers of this.  Hire a good assistant who is an expert with the opposite end if you simply cannot fathom how to coach defense (or offense).  Coaches who break this rule are bad coaches.  Period.

With those guidelines down, lets take a look at this years starting ranks!

Group 1: The OG

1. Greg Popovich San Antonio Spurs — At this point this is pretty much an unassailable choice– beautiful offensive system, defense capable of shutting down the best offensive players in the world, long term plan that has resulted in back to back finals trips despite aging Stars and a rag tag band of role players.  Until someone takes the crown, Pop is still the King.

Group 2: Defense Wins. . . Championship Singular?

2. Doc Rivers Los Angeles Micro-Softs

3. Tom Thibodeau Chicago Bulls

You could argue these two to go either way, and its hard for me to separate their achievements from each other.  Thibs is the architect of the system, but he only won the ring with Doc running the show (2008 Boston Celtics).  Doc is clearly a leader/motivator/player’s coach, but his handle on the Boston-Chicago defense is strong enough to improve middling defenders to fairly competent levels.  Meanwhile the Bulls have basically suffered Limony Snicketts Series of Unfortunate Events the last few seasons and still won a playoff series in the span.  I’m giving the nod to Doc because of how he handled the crisis with his former ownership last season.

(Side note– I will not be using the current nick name of this franchise.  It is going to be changed as soon as legal battles are done.  Until further notice I will refer to them as the LA Micro-Softs after their soon to be new owner, Steve Ballmer.)

Group 3: Respekt

4. Rick Carlisle Dallas Mavericks

Beat the heat for a championship in 2010; continuously reinvents a rotating cast of throw aways into quality NBA players around a superstar who he uses without ever asking him to simply be half the floor by himself.  Turned Jason Kidd (a guy who couldn’t shoot when he was good enough to drag a team to the Finals twice) into a sharpshooter and Monta Ellis into a team player.  With a refreshed roster I will not be surprised if I have Carlisle rated too low here and we see that this season.

Group 4: Hope for the Future

5. Mike Budenholzer Atlanta Hawks

6. Jeff Hornacek Phoenix Suns

7. Jason Kidd Milwaukee Bucks

8. Brad Stevens Boston Celtics

This group features several coaches who overachieved last year– the Hawks made the playoffs, despite losing their best player for the season, and reinvented themselves into an innovative three point machine that almost beat the first seeded Pacers.  The Suns drastically over achieved in the West and narrowly missed the playoffs.  Stevens’ squad in Boston flirted with overachieving early, before the miserable realities of that roster without Rajon Rondo reasserted themselves, and the fact that the front office wants to lose games won out in the long run.

Kidd is a bit of an enigma coming off one year in Brooklyn– but the way he reinvented that roster and put together a winning, playoff team based around obviously aging players in pierce and KG with Brooke Lopez out, and Deron Williams not the player he was advertised to be when the Nets swing for the fences on him a few years back shows that he has the basketball mind to achieve.

These four coaches have a lot to prove coming into this season, and their promising starts last year may have been false starts.  They could also easily be bumped by any of the next group. . .

Group 5: Playoff Coaches With Questions

9. Frank Vogel Indiana Pacers

10. Terry Stots Portland Trailblazers

11. Kevin McHale Houston Rockets

These three coaches have helmed perennial playoff entreats the last few years.  Vogel has had the most success there of the three, but after last season’s inexplicable collapse there has to be an amount of blame laid at his feet.  Questions also linger about whether his pacers have simply taken advantage of injuries to better coached teams ahead of them the last few years.  These questions should be answered definitively this year– without George if the Pacers can show the defense that made them a good team the last few years, and find ways to score, and salvage Roy Hibbert’s career, and. . . well that’s a lot of ifs.  If things go the other way and the Pacers aren’t in contention for a playoff spot (without roster intervention) don’t be surprised if Vogel is looking for a job next off season.

Stots got a lot of work out of the middle of the floor– the analytically “bad” area for shots.  He put together a strong team in the west, seems to have developed LMA into a superstar, has Damian Lillard rolling, and resurrected the other Lopez brother.  There are still questions lingering however– “Was having LMA and Co take all those bad 20 footers genius counter programming, or was it just a lucky bad decision?” for instance.

For McHale, he looked like a good coach with one star in Hardin two years ago; then limped into the postseason and got trounced by the Blazers with two.  To be fair, he is saddled with the two most one-sided superstars in the game– Hardin plays no defense, and Dwight plays no offense.  He has found a gem in Patrick Beverly, and developed Parsins from a second round pick into a genuine NBA player.  But the time has come that McHale needs to show he can bring it together– a truly great coach would get more D out of Hardin and more O out of Dwight, and if he continues to allow them to underachieve both individually and collectively it will be an indictment of his work.

Group 6: Veteran Jobbers

12. Dwayne Casey Toronto Raptors

13. Steve Clifford Charlotte Hornets

14. Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets

Clifford and Shaw have light resumes; Casey has coached more games and ended up just under 500.  This is basically the line I set for “minimum level of competence for an NBA coach”, which makes sense that its right in the middle.

Group 7: Memphis In Memphis Out

15. Lionel Hollins Brooklyn Nets

16. Dave Joerger Memphis Grizzlies

Hollins got done dirty when he was let go two years ago.  Joerger came in and appeared to have been a slight downgrade.  Either could still prove to be absolute geniuses or absolute flops, and only the season will tell.

Group 8: Retread City

17. Stan Van Gundy Detroit Pistons

18. Flip Saunders Minnesota Timberwolves

19. Byron Scott Los Angeles Lakers

Three re-hash hires from coaches with varying levels of success in the past.  Van Gundy is the most “accomplished” with a trip to the Finals under his belt– but he failed to develop Dwight Howard, a player with the tool set to have been a dominant player on both ends akin to Shaq/Hakeem/Kareem especially against a weakened center position, but failed to do so.  His three point reliant system was innovative and forward thinking at the time, but he simply cannot be forgiven for developing one of the two most one-sided superstars of the past 20 years and be given credit for winning with the same.

Flip Saunders is the best coach to ever coach the T-Wolves.  But coaching a set of most likely Love-less young players into a low seed while serving as a place holder for a job that no coach would touch with a 10 ft pole until he can hand over a fresh lottery pick laden roster 2-3 years from now I wonder just how much he will be giving this year.

For Scott, he’s coached 10 years and made the playoffs just four times– two Jason Kidd era Nets finals losses, and two disappointing Chris Paul playoff trips.  Allowing players to not develop skill sets? Jason Kidd’s jump shot says check!  Underachieving with superstars?  Chris Paul’s two playoff series wins with the Hornets says yes!  Festering locker rooms and young players who stagnate and fail to develop?  the Cavaliers of 2010-2013 were so bad this guy was fire to be replaced by Mike Brown!  I may be wrong, but I do not expect the Lakers stay to be a good one.

Group 9: Incomplete

20. Monty Williams New Orleans Pelicans

21. Jacque Vaughn Orlando Magic

22. Brett Brown Philadelphia 76ers

23. Michael Malone Sacramento Kings

You want me to evaluate coaches off last years Magic or 76ers seasons?  No thank you!  These three coaches has terrible records thanks to basically coaching lottery squads.  They will need to earn their way up from here.  Monty Williams is on his last year of lee-way in the rankings– if the Pellies don’t start to achieve, there is a problem with his coaching.  Interesting side note– the Kings were so forgettable last year I got to the end of this column and didn’t have Malone listed, despite working off a list of all the coaches.  Like Monty Williams, he has a roster with enough talent on it that lack of serious improvement probably spells doom for his coaching prospects going forward.

At least three three aren’t actively making their teams worse, which leads us to our next groups–

Group 10: Actively Making Teams Worse and Holding Back Their Players

24. Erik Spoelstra Miami Heat

25. Scott Brooks Oklahoma City Thunder

26. Randy Wittmann Washington Wizards

I don’t want to hear arguments about Brooks or Spoelstra’s records.  Miami’s offensive system the last four years has been “Lebron– go score, and sometimes dish the ball to an open player, and let Wade have a few possessions once in a while”.  Their defensive system has been worse.  With anything less than the best player on the planet, another superstar, and hall of fame role players in Lebron/Wade/Allen-Miller-Bosh respectively the Heat would not have msade the playoffs much less the Finals.  Make no mistake, the Heat suceeded the past four years in spite of coach Spoelstra not because of him.

Brooks it the same but with a half step worse players– his offense is to let Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant take turns at random.  His defensive system has been exposed as consisting of essentially, “Well Serge can block everything, right?”  The fact that those are enough to win does not change the fact that a good coach would be having more success here.

Both Spoeltra and Brooks violate my rule #2 having only adequately or under achieved (to be clear, for the Heat of the last four seasons anything less than a three peat that included a 70+ win regular season was underachieving.  That’s what happened the last time the best player on the planet, another superstar, and set of HOF role-players came together.)  They both also violate rule #3 on not one but BOTH ends of the floor, relying on nothing but better players to win.

Never forget– Mike Brown seemed to be a competent coach when he was coaching Lebron.  Since then, he has only proven worthy of being fired three times in four years, twice by the same team.

Wittmann has coached over 500 games, has a .367 winning percentage and last year marked his first ever playoff experience.  May have been bad beats with his teams. . . but you don’t coach 500 games in the NBA and only show a hint of coaching potential in your last 30 games by accident.

Which leaves us with. . .

Group 11: Rookie Coaches

27. David Blatt Cleveland Cavaliers

28. Derek Fisher New York Knicks

29. Steve Kerr Golden State Warriors

30. Quinn Snyder Utah Jazz

Again– these four were automatically placed last, and are listed alphabetically.  Check back after the season starts.