Best Coaches in the League So Far For the 2013-2014 NBA Season
Behind every team’s success is the ability for a head coach to take charge and steer their group in the right direction.
Some greats like Greg Popovich out of San Antonio have been able to do this for years, gaining respect from management and players alike in order to produce a winning product night in and night out.
Other coaches particularly new to the atmosphere like Jason Kidd, are still working on what it takes to truly gain an edge over teams.
As the great Phil Jackson always said, “Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We.”
So as we inch closer to the midway point of the season, let’s have a look at what guys are truly succeeding as leaders to their franchises (these aren’t in order.. well except maybe for Popovich).
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
Pops been in this league long enough to know what to do and what not to do in almost every situation.
In his 18 year tenure with San Antonio he’s guided them to 16 straight playoff appearances and won 4 championships. This season has been no different as far as success goes with the team comfortably sitting at the top of the Western Conference with a 28-8 record.
Terry Stotts, Portland Trailblazers
For a guy that was fired twice in four years, Terry Stotts has done an unbelievable job turning the Blazers’ franchise around who now are second in the mighty Western Conference. He’s created an offensive powerhouse that uses three pointers to spread the floor and as a result gives more open looks to their superstar LaMarcus Aldridge. With Portland ranking first in points per game, three pointers, and offensive rating you can tell how strong their defense has truly been.
Frank Vogel, Indiana Pacers
With the emergence of superstar Paul George, quite a few people tend to overlook head coach Frank Vogel and the amazing work he’s done establishing the best defense in the entire league. So far this season the Pacers rank first in defensive rating and are holding opponents to 87.9 points a game (4 points better than the second best Chicago Bulls). If their seemingly invincible defense can hold up, Vogel’s squad is on course to break history with one of the best defenses since the 1998-1999 Hawks led by Dikembe Mutombo. Pretty impressive right?
Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix Suns
Raise your hand if you thought the Suns would be in the playoff hunt. To anyone that did, either a. You’re a die hard Suns fan or b. You’re lying. Phoenix began the year projected to be in the hunt for a lottery pick but new coach Jeff Hornacheck has implemented a fast paced style of offense that has players share the ball and look for open perimeter shots. Recent news of Eric Bledsoe being out for an extended period of time might hamper their strong start but you can’t help notice the phenomenal job Hornacek has done so far guiding a once thought to be hopeless team.
Honorable Mentions: Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City Thunder; Rick Carslisle, Dallas Mavericks; Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers; Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat; Steve Clifford, Charlotte Bobcats; Tom Thibadeou, Chicago Bulls