After winning Coach of the Month for the second time this year, could D’Antoni be looking at a second consecutive Coach of the Year award?
Mike D’Antoni is coming off yet another Coach of the Month award, his second of the year. After winning the Coach of the Year last season, he arguably is doing an even better job this season.
He’s led the Houston Rockets on a franchise-record pace and they currently have the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
That begs the question, could he repeat as the winner this season? It’s certainly possible, but he will have some serious competition.
Let’s look at reasons why he may and why he may not:
Why Mike D’Antoni may win Coach of the Year
As I said earlier, this is D’Antoni’s second Coach of the Month honor. He won it during the first month of the season when he coached the Rockets to a great record even without Chris Paul.
Last season, he actually only won a single Coach of the Month but still ended up with Coach of the Year. Now, with two on his resume, he is primed to repeat.
And he definitely deserves it.
He has been able to stagger Chris Paul and James Harden perfectly, keeping them one of them on the court at all times and overwhelming bench units. He is also keeping James Harden to the lowest minutes per game of his career even though he is putting up some of his best numbers.
The offense D’Antoni runs deserves recognition, but he and Jeff Bzdelik have done a great job on the defense. They are a top-10 defense in the league and own the No. 1 offense.
Why Mike D’Antoni may not win Coach of the Year
The Coach of the Year race is pretty competitive this season. There are a few candidates who definitely deserve the award.
Brad Stevens has led his team, the Celtics, to one of the top records in the league despite losing superstar Gordon Hayward at the beginning of the season. He and D’Antoni face off tonight in Houston.
The coach of the Toronto Raptors, Dwane Casey, also deserves serious consideration. He’s brought the Raptors to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and a serious contender come playoff time. He has reinvented the offense of the team and brought them to the No. 3 defense and offense.
There are other darkhorse candidates for the award. Gregg Popovich is always in consideration. Terry Stotts is also a possibility as he has the Blazers in the 3rd spot currently.
The one problem with D’Antoni’s case is that history is not on his side. No coach has ever won the Coach of the Year two years in a row. Voter fatigue is real!
As the Rockets finish the season, we’ll have to see if Coach D’Antoni can bring home the hardware once again.