NBA Coach of The Year: The favourites to win the award this season
The race to win the title has blown open this year. Many former-subpar teams have broken out of their shells and are making it harder for the teams that were considered strong contenders(before the 2018-19 season kicked off).
The flurry of tectonic shifts that jolted the NBA in the off-season due to league-changing trades has been followed by some unexpected standings in both the Western the Eastern conference.
In the midst of such an upheaval, something that often goes overlooked is the ability of a coach to take a partly-shuffled roster, get them to play coordinated high-speed basketball from scratch and polish the cogwheels for the grueling 82-game long regular season.
The front-office pulls all strings during the summer to get together the best side on paper, but what really matters, is how well the coach can coalesce all that talent and make it work as one whole unit.
For this very piece, we are going to select the five best predictions for the 'Coach of the Year' award considering how things have played out for all the teams so far this season.
#1 J. B. Bickerstaff (Memphis Grizzlies)
Bickerstaff is one of the best amongst the recent surge of young coaches in the NBA.
In November of 2017, he was made the Interim Head Coach of the Memphis Grizzlies after David Fizdale was shockingly fired. He got promoted to the Permanent Head Coach position in May of 2018 and has shown promising efforts with the team ever since.
The Grizzlies are 15-9 (fifth in the cut-throat competitive Western Conference) at this point in the season, a team that won just 20 games throughout the whole season last year and finished 14th in the West.
Just 19 games into the 2017-18 season, Fizdale was sent off, giving way for JB who then recorded 15-48 for the rest of the season with Memphis.
He has already won that many games this season and we are barely touching the first quarter mark of the 82-game long season.
With the recent signing of Joakim Noah, he looks pumped at the prospect of having two DPOYs on the Court in Gasol (2013) and Noah (2014) at the same time.
“When was the last time you were able to put two defensive player of the years on the floor together?” Bickerstaff asked. “We have the opportunity to do that. Two guys that are versatile defensively that are extremely intelligent, do a great job of protecting the paint, do a great job of communicating."