Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown should be right in the conversation for this upcoming season’s Coach of the Year award.
Head coach Brett Brown has been kept busy this summer as he’s been leading the Philadelphia 76ers front office on an interim basis. With the interviewing of internal candidates for the general manager position to happen soon, Brown can re-focus himself on just coaching this year’s squad of players. Hopefully Brown can learn something from this experience and become a better coach as well.
If Brown and this young 76ers squad can show serious improvement, the sky will be the limit for this franchise. While team success is the most important aspect in basketball, hopefully the individual efforts of the players and the staff won’t go unrecognized either. Based off the amount of success the team and individual players have this upcoming season, Brown should be in the conversation for the Coach of the Year award.
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Recently, Gerald Bourguet of Hoops Habit ranked the top 10 coaches that could win the Coach of the Year award for the upcoming season. He had an overall solid ranking system and very good group of candidates. In Bourguet’s article, Sixers coach Brown was ranked in the fourth spot, but Bourguet very much kept the door open for Philadelphia’s head coach to win the award.
Bourguet suggested that if Philly’s players develop significantly from last season and that the team can become even more dominant than last season’s squad, then Brown would have a compelling case for the award. Bourguet also wrote about the type of story line it would be for Brown who started coaching on a long-term rebuilding team and turning it into a contender level franchise.
However like previously mentioned above, Bourguet has the Sixers head coach only in the fourth spot, which infers that he believes that there are three other coaches that have better shots at claiming the award than Brown. Those three coaches are Brad Stevens, Mike Budenholzer and Quin Snyder, who are ranked first, second and third on Bourguet’s list respectively.
Like Brown, Stevens is coaching a Boston Celtics club with no major offseason additions. However, the Celtics are expected to have healthy All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward return this season. Boston is almost certainly expected to improve with All-Stars returning from health issues and in a weaker Eastern Conference. That might actually work against Stevens in the voting process.
Budenholzer may end up being the biggest threat out of the three coaches ranked ahead of Brown, due to the fact that the Milwaukee Bucks has the most room for improvement from last season. Even with the superstar effort from Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks still only managed a 44-38 record last season. However, if Brown can get players like Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz to take big steps in their development, he should be able to beat out the Bucks new head coach for the award.
Snyder will have the hardest time winning the award based on the fact that the Utah Jazz play in the Western Conference. The West just got significantly stronger with LeBron James signing with Los Angeles Lakers this offseason. If Snyder can’t lead the Jazz to at least the third spot in the conference rankings, then it seems unlikely that he has any realistic shot at winning Coach of the Year.
This isn’t to say that none of these coaches listed ahead of Brown in Bourguet’s article don’t have legit shots to win Coach of the Year. However, Brown’s best chance to win the award is to improve upon the Philadelphia 76ers record from last season and for players to show the most improvement. That’s why Brown should be considered one of the top, if not the top candidate for Coach of the Year this preseason.