Joe Mazzulla: Overrated for Coach of the Year

NBA Coach of the Year discussion: talking about Joe Mazzulla, Jacque Vaughn, Rick Carlisle, and Michael Brown.


The NBA Coach of the Year market has Joe Mazzulla as the market favorite at this point. He is priced at 2 to 1 with bet365 sportsbook, odds that seem to overrate his chances. Jacque Vaughn, Rick Carlisle, and Michael Brown are the coaches that should be looked at to win this award.

Jacque Vaughn inherited a lousy situation

Vaughn inherited a situation with the Brooklyn Nets that was hardly optimal. After the Nets fired Steve Nash, they had a bit of drama with Kyrie Irving to go with a bad start to the season. Since taking over, things have stabilized, the Nets have a current 12-game winning streak active, and they appear likely to overtake the lead in the standings soon from Boston. It's Vaughn that should be regarded as the favorite to win the NBA's Coach of the Year Award at this point, not Mazzulla.

Mazzulla hasn't done anything amazing with the Boston Celtics. They are 26-11, which is the best record in the association. However, that's more or less what anyone would have expected heading into the season. Vaughn is the one that has gone into a tricky situation and corrected it.

Rick Carlisle and Michael Brown are overachieving

Rick Carlisle of the Indiana Pacers has also done a very good job for his team. The Pacers were not thought to be playoff contenders heading into this season. However, as the midpoint of the season approaches, that is what we are seeing out of Indiana. Their sharp rookie, Bennedict Mathurin, is a part of their success as is Tyrese Haliburton. But Carlisle has kept things together so far in Indiana in a season where most thought that they would finish 11th or worse.

Michael Brown of the Sacramento Kings is also doing a very good job with his team. The Kings entered the season with a win total of 33.5 with bet365. With a current record of 19-16, you have to think that they are going to smash that total. If they do and if they make the playoffs for the first time in a teenager's life, then Brown will enter the conversation as NBA Coach of the Year.

Importantly, this is an award that's won in a subjective manner. It's not about winning a foot race: there are writers that vote on the winner. The situation that Vaughn had to start the season and the way he has turned it around will probably make a major impression on the voters.