Handicapping the NBA Coach of the Year race
Handicapping the race for NBA Coach of the Year at the halfway mark:
1. Mark Jackson (Golden State): The resolute Warriors are without their starting center in Andrew Bogut and their best perimeter defender in Brandon Rush, and yet they're No. 5 with a bullet in the Wild Wild West.
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2. Mike Woodson (New York): Making the Knicks click is no easy feat, but Woodson has been masterful at finding the right mix despite injuries to Amare' Stoudemire, Raymond Felton and a hobbled Carmelo Anthony.
3. Vinny Del Negro (Los Angeles Clippers): For a team allegedly missing a coach, the Clippers sure do look impressive at times. The question is who's actually running the team — Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, or this guy?
4. Scott Brooks (Thunder): Brooks' ability to deftly manage the league's top young talent often fails to be properly recognized. He has a baby-faced roster any coach would envy, but that doesn't automatically bring success.
5. Gregg Popovich (San Antonio): The Spurs are great at home, great on the road, even when they're not at full strength. So what else is new? Pop clearly is the king of NBA coaches and could win this award every season.
Also considered: Tom Thibodeau (Chicago), P.J. Carlesimo (Brooklyn), Lionel Hollins (Memphis), Frank Vogel (Indiana), Kevin McHale (Houston).
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