NBA 2018-19: Predicting the 5 best new head coaches
The 2017-18 NBA season saw a lot of stuttering teams pull the trigger on their backroom staff in the offseason. They include the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks, who fired Jason Kidd after 4 seasons of consistent underachievement, and the Toronto Raptors, who fired Dwane Casey following a third successive playoff exit against the Cavaliers.
In total, there are 9 teams opening the 2018-19 season with a new head coach manning the sidelines - the Knicks, the Magic, the Hornets, the Raptors, the Bucks, the Pistons, the Suns and the Atlanta Hawks. This article is an attempt to crystal-gaze into the future and project the most likely head coaches to be long-term successes at their new franchise while factoring their impacts in the short term:
#5 David Fizdale
The New York Knicks' short-term ceiling is squarely capped as they put franchise cornerstone Kristaps Porzingis through the long and tedious recuperation process from an ACL injury suffered midway through the 2017-18 season. With KP out indefinitely, the Knicks are in line to be among the worst teams in the league for the 2018-19 season.
They hit their draft right out of the ballpark, however, securing the services of one-and-done Kentucky product Kevin Knox. The 6'9" small forward, who can also play the 2-guard as well as the power forward role given his length and quickness, could be a long-term running mate for the Zinger, and the role of developing him and getting him gelled into NBA action is, for now, the responsibility of erstwhile Miami Heat assistant and Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale.
The Knicks may be one of the worst teams in the league, but you can expect to see glimpses of Fizdale's genius on the ride. These are much better times to be a Knicks fan than any in the recent past.