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Five leading candidates for NBA Coach of the Year

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The NBA is entering the final quarter of the season. Teams are fighting for playoff spots and the award races are heating up. This includes NBA Coach of the Year.

There are a handful of coaches who have done spectacular jobs with their teams this season.

NBA Coach of the Year candidates

However, only one coach can win the Coach of the Year award.

There are five coaches that are still in contention for the award. The first has made a major jump with their team this season and has coached his team to the top seed in the Western Conference.

The second coach has also had a surprisingly well season and is sitting in the second seed. The third coach has kept his team in contention despite key players being injured.


The fourth coach saved his franchise from a potential rebuild. The final coach took his team from the laughing stock of the league to playoff contenders in only one season.

This list is in no particular order, just a compilation of contenders.

#1: Quin Snyder

The first NBA head coach that is in contention for Coach of the Year is Quin Snyder.

Snyder has done an amazing job with the Utah Jazz this season. For years, they have been a consistent playoff team, however, they have always been a 4-7 seed.


This season, they are the first seed in a stacked Western Conference. The Jazz has the third-best offensive rating and fourth-best defensive rating in the league.

Along with this, they have the best overall net rating in the NBA. It will be very interesting to see if the Jazz will be able to hold onto this hot streak for the rest of the season and in the playoffs.

#2: Doc Rivers

The second NBA head coach that could win the Coach of the Year award is Doc Rivers.

Rivers was the coach of the Los Angeles Clippers from 2013-2020. He was with the team through the Lob City era and the first year of the Kawhi Leonard era.

After a disappointing postseason with the Clippers, he was fired from the team and used as a scapegoat for the collapse. His coaching ability was questioned by both fans and the media.

However, Rivers quickly found another job with the Philadelphia 76ers. When he was hired, it was debated that Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid would be traded and they simply could not play together.

Under the guidance of Rivers, Embiid is having an MVP caliber season and the 76ers have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

#3: Frank Vogel

The third NBA head coach who should be in contention for Coach of the Year is Frank Vogel.

Vogel was a coach who had an argument to win the award last season but did not take home the trophy. He has established an amazing defensive system with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Along with this, he cultivated an incredible team culture.

They have had a very next-man-up type of mentality this season. This is due to their two stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis being sidelined with injuries.

They acquired Andre Drummond in the buyout market, however, he succumbed to an injury in his first game with the team.

Despite missing the star power, the Lakers have not really slacked behind. They still have the second-best defense in the NBA. They also are still holding onto the fourth seed in the Western Conference.

#4: Monty Williams

The fourth coach that is in the running for the Coach of the Year award is Monty Williams.

Williams has taken a Phoenix Suns team that was one game short of making the playoffs last season and turned them into the team with the second-best record in the Western Conference.

This speaks to just how well Williams has developed the teams’ young players like Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker.

Booker has developed into a true star in the league at only the age of 24 years old. The addition of Chris Paul made Williams’ job much easier. Paul is a player who makes everyone around him better and is one of the best passers the game has ever seen.

Both Booker and Ayton have thrived from this along with his leadership.

Big things could be brewing in Phoenix with Williams at the helm if they are able to continue their success in the playoffs.

#5: Tom Thibodeau

The final head coach that should be considered for the coach of the year award is Tom Thibodeau.

Hiring Thibodeau was questioned by many when he was added to the coaching staff of the New York Knicks. However, Thibodeau has silenced those who criticized him and has taken the Knicks from being the laughing stock to the league to a potential playoff team.

This is a truly remarkable feat considering the last time they made the postseason was 2013. Thibodeau was able to reunite with point guard Derrick Rose who was his star player when he coached the Chicago Bulls.

One of the most impressive player developments in the league occurred under Thibodeau’s guidance as well.

Julius Randle went from being a meme last season to being an All-Star caliber player this season.

While they will not make much noise if they make the postseason, even making the playoffs is an amazing accomplishment for a head coach of the Knicks in their first season.

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