The 2020/21 NBA campaign is already approaching the final weeks of the regular season and at this point, we can already predict who may be the candidates for the different prizes at stake. The standings show which teams are probably making the playoffs and even who are expected to claim the ring this year.
Moreover, after so many months of one game after another, it's already a safe moment to discuss seriously who may deserve the MVP award, for instance. Although the superstars who shine on the court usually hog the spotlight, the men who pull the strings outside of it should be considered as well.
The Coach of the Year award represents all the effort that team leaders put throughout the year and that does not always pay off with a title or with a deep run in the playoffs. Here, we'll take a look at four candidates to win the NBA Coach of the Year 2021.
4. Tyronn Lue (Los Angeles Clippers)
The young coach took the coaching role with the Clippers following a disappointing ending to the 2019-20 season under Doc Rivers and he seized it. Despite many people were concerned with his appointment, the former champion with the Cleveland Cavaliers has given a great turnaround and his team is doing great. Sitting third in the Western Conference, the Clippers are serious contenders for the postseason while their offense looks much better than anyone expected.
3. Doc Rivers (Philadelphia 76ers)
After leaving Los Angeles and opening the space for his former assistant to take over, Doc Rivers moved to the other end of the country and the 76ers immediately turned up their game. Philadelphia has been ruling the Eastern Conference throughout this season over strong opponents like the Brooklyn Nets, and they are set to be a strong candidate for the playoffs. After a bad finish to the last campaign, Rivers has recovered by turning the 76ers into one of the most frightened teams who improved their defensive job under him.
2. Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns)
In his second season in Phoenix, Williams gave a complete change to the franchise's fortunes and they find themselves very close to making it to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The turning point for the Suns was their impressive performance in the Orlando bubble last year. Even though they couldn't claim a playoff berth, they were unbeaten with an 8-0 record, the best streak to finish a season by a team who didn't make it to the playoffs in history. From then on, with Chris Paul's arrival, William's team had a huge improvement and became a strong side in the Western Conference against all odds.
1. Quin Snyder (Utah Jazz)
Arguably the top contender for the 2021 Coach of the Year Award, Snyder's Jazz hold the best record in the entire league and have been atop the Western Conference most of the season. He became the first coach in the franchise's history to claim at least twice the Coach of the Month award, and he was also named as Team Lebron's coach in the NBA All-Star Game. It's been quite a fantastic journey for Utah so far, and they are heading into the playoffs as favorite candidates for a good finish. Snyder's outstanding job so far places him as the No. 1 candidate to be recognized with the award.