Posted by: Earl-Stevens on March 31st, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
What’s wrong here? A hall-of-fame coach with twenty five years of NBA coaching experience including twenty two seasons with a single franchise; two NBA finals appearances and only one losing season during that stretch (with Utah) – - But NEVER coach of the year?!
Sloan has a career .605 winning percentage which puts him at an average of 50 wins per season. He’s won with talented rosters, and he’s won with mediocre talent. He’s won. Consistently.
But the Coach of the Year award has always eluded him. Probably because he’s such a consistent winner – - Going from 48 wins to, say, 54 wins isn’t as dramatic as going from 23 to 49 wins (which current COY favorite Scott Brooks of OKC is likely to do).
I’m resigned to the fact that Scott Brooks, or possibly Scott Skiles (Milwaukee) will win the award over Sloan this year. Those guys have made some dramatic improvements and have moved a couple of lottery teams into playoff spots. But I’m not happy about it. I believe that it’s much harder to move a team who earned the 8th spot in the Western Conference last year to (possibly/hopefully) the two seed in the conference this year.
My logic â€“ and I’ll use Oklahoma City as an example. Assuming OKC is able to earn the 7th spot in the west, here’s who they had to leapfrog in the standings this year:
OKC had to climb past:
- Golden State
- New Orleans
- San Antonio or Portland
Assuming the Jazz earn the 2nd spot, they will have had to climb past:
- New Orleans
- San Antonio
- And fend off vastly improved Phoenix and Oklahoma City teams
A season-over-season 26 win differential is certainly impressive, but I would argue that going from the 8th spot to number two requires much more coaching acumen. And it’s not like the Jazz had an easy go of it. Sloan managed to cope with injuries, inconsistencies, slumps, inexperienced rookies, trades, and trade rumors. Though teams like San Antonio, New Orleans, and Houston had comparatively down years, still, every Western Conference team in playoff contention currently has a .600 record or better.
Again, I’m not getting my hopes up, but I believe Sloan is quietly doing a fantastic job with the Jazz this year.
What are your thoughts? Does Sloan have a chance of snagging COY this year? Is it more impressive to go from the lottery to the bottom of the playoff ladder than from the lower ladder to the second spot?
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