Ranking The 5 Best Coaches In The NBA

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May 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson instructs against the San Antonio Spurs during the second quarter in game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Being a head coach in the NBA is a ruthlessly unforgiving profession. Job security is an afterthought. Coaches have to prove themselves year in and year out, regardless of player injury or any other circumstances that are outside of their control.

The 2012-13 Coach of the Year results are already in, but that vote took place before the playoffs. George Karl of the Denver Nuggets did wonders with his team during the regular season and deservedly won the 2012-13 Coach of the Year award. Too bad the COTY award takes into account only the regular season, as Karl was thoroughly outcoached in the playoffs by Mark Jackson.

These five coaches were the best coaches in the NBA during the regular season, and then pulled away from the competition during the playoffs.

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Tags: Chicago Bulls Erik Spoelstra Golden State Warriors Gregg Popovich Lionel Hollins Memphis Grizzlies Miami Heat NBA Playoffs San Antonio Spurs Tom Thibodeau

  • discus

    Pops “after time out plays” are off the hook.

    • discus

      Spurs ends up with wide open layups (see Kawhi inbounds to TP) or wide open jumpers on those plays. Spoelstra and other coaches “after time out” plays?

      Uh, give the ball to Lebron and get out of his way. ”

      Uh, give the ball to Jordan and get out of his way. ”

      Uh, give the ball to Caramel and get out of his way. “

  • Joe Moore

    San Antonio shoots 53.4 efg% after time outs, the heat shoot 54.5%. This doesn’t include turnovers, but those “Uh, give the ball to Lebron and get out of his way,” plays are pretty effective (also that’s not all the heat do off inbounds). Often, a simple option is just as effective as a complex, intricately designed one. People criticize Spo for having the best player, but there is value in using that player’s skills.

    • John

      I completely agree. Simply having great players doesn’t result in championships. The dynasties over the past couple decades (Magic, Jordan, Shaq/Kobe, Duncan) all had hall of fame coaches at the helm leading hall of fame players.