Boston Celtics PG Isaiah Thomas was shocked his head coach, Brad Stevens, wasn’t one of the three finalists for this year’s NBA Coach Of The Year award. And at first, you really want to agree with him.
And then you see who did finish in the top: San Antonio Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich, the Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra, and the Houston Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni.
The Celtics making the Eastern Conference Finals and securing a number one seed in the playoffs were surprises to be sure. Hell, Thomas’ ascension into superstardom was as well. Can you look at what those other three guys did and make a case that Stevens was better?
The Heat were supposed to be an absolute rudderless ship this year. No Dwayne Wade, no Chris Bosh, no direction. All they did was end the year on an absolute tear to barely miss the playoffs.
Look at this chart and tell me how good this team was supposed to be in October:
That roster should have played like hot garbage. But they didn’t, and Spoelstra deserves the hat tip.
Pop is Pop. I mean, Kawhi Leonard could have been the damn MVP. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli are each 206 years old. And had it not been for a most unfortunate injury to Leonard, they may have been able to stop everybody’s favorite juggernaut, the Golden State Warriors.
As a Laker fan, I think Mike D’Antoni should never win a coaching award ever. Period. End of story. But in all honesty, the debacle in L.A. probably wasn’t his fault.
He did manage to get the Rockets to play to their strengths, and that deserves some recognition. Not surprisingly, offense improved and defense regressed.
His team still managed to finish third in the Western Conference to the Warriors with 55 wins. 55 wins would have won the Eastern Conference by 2 games.
If you wanted to make a case for Stevens instead of D’Antoni, I wouldn’t argue. However playing in the East seems to have knocked his accomplishments down a peg- right or wrong.
Thomas can support his coach all he wants, that’s his prerogative, but to call it a ‘snub’ is a bit of a stretch.