3. Mike D’Antoni
Current narrative: Only leads teams to wins in the regular season, style doesn’t work in the playoffs.
Since joining the Houston Rockets, Mike D’Antoni has the best record in the league in that time span. Of course in many people’s eyes, none of that matters. D’Antoni, like Westbrook and Harden, has had major playoff disappointments throughout his career.
His playoff woes go all the way back to his coaching days in Phoenix when his Suns teams could never get over the hump against Gregg Popovich and the Spurs. Even with 667 career wins and 520 losses, D’Antoni has suffered the same ridicule as Harden and Westbrook, being labeled as just a great regular-season coach.
D’Antoni led the Rockets to their best regular season ever in 2018-19 when they finished with 65 wins and were one game away from the Finals. Still, most critics don’t acknowledge the great season and only remember the Game 6 and 7 losses to the Warriors.
The only way D’Antoni will be recognized as one of the best coaches of all time is if he leads the Rockets to a ring this year.
Next: No. 4