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NBA mid-season: Coach of the Year race heats up with Taylor Jenkins and Monty Williams Favorites

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

The NBA Coach of the Year award is perhaps one of the crowning accolades a head coach in the league can earn as it will highlight just how well they managed to guide their team throughout the season.

Of course, whilst many may assume that the team to win the NBA Finals would arguably have the man that deserves the award, it has hardly been that way over the years since it was created.

Indeed, since it was introduced in the 1962–63 NBA season, there has been a total of 40 different individuals who have been able to lay claim to the honor, with the New York Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau having won his second; a decade removed from the first time he won the accolade whilst the head coach of the Chicago Bulls.

Although we might only be at the midway point of the current 2021/22 NBA season, however there have already been a number of odds to have been made available for the candidates who are in the running at the moment, where punters who decide to use Unibet can make the most of the 10 free bet that is on offer! 

Who, though, is said to be in the running at this point and why have they been listed as potential favorites to win the accolade? Let’s take a look at each of them in a little more detail below!

Taylor Jenkins

One of the names to appear at the top of the odds to win the NBA Coach of the Year award for this season is Taylor Jenkins due to the work that he has managed to achieve with the Memphis Grizzlies.

As of the time of writing (January 19, 2021), the Grizzlies are currently placed third in the Western Conference and have a record that boasts 31-15 prior to the franchise’s match with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Indeed, the Western Conference is rather top-heavy and one that is incredibly competitive, however the organization has continued to put up a number of impressive performances under Jenkins.

The team already looks to be better than they were last season in regard to results, having managed to obtain a record of 38-34, which was only good enough for them to place 8th in the Western Conference, although that did give them enough to reach the playoffs.

If the Grizzlies continue to perform as well as they under the third-year coach, then Jenkins could very well be the man to take the award at the end of the season.

Monty Williams

One man that could be close in the running and really push Jenkins for the NBA Coach of the Year award at this moment is Monty Williams, with the Phoenix Suns head coach doing extraordinary things with his organization.

The Suns, by far, have the best overall record and win percentage of any team in the entire league at the moment, having managed to secure a record of 34-9, therefore, totaling a 0.791%; the Golden State Warriors are 0.727 and have played a game more at the time of writing.

Some would argue that Williams should have been the NBA Coach of the Year last season after guiding his team to the NBA Finals, although the defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks perhaps made voters decide to go for Thibodeau instead.

However, this season it seems the Suns have come out just as strong as before and it appears that they are showing everyone that they mean business on the basketball court. Williams certainly deserves a lot of the credit, hence why he is also believed to be in the running.

JB Bickerstaff, Billy Donovan and Steve Kerr also in the running

When taking a look at the odds, it would also seem that JB Bickerstaff (Cleveland Cavaliers), Billy Donovan (Chicago Bulls), and Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors) are also in the hunt for various different reasons.

Some have highlighted what Bickerstaff has managed to do with the youngsters on this team and how he has managed to turn the franchise into a dangerous opponent whereas some have pointed out that Donovan has been impressive in regard to the tactics that he has adopted and the style of play used in Chicago.

Kerr, who has been named the 2022/24 USA Basketball Men’s National Team head coach, is in the conversation due to how well the Warriors are performing at the moment.

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