Ime Udoka of the Boston Celtics, a fan favorite, was unexpectedly banned for the whole 2022–23 season. The coaches of certain up-and-coming West teams are now in the lead in the NBA Coach of the Year chances as a consequence.
Well, this definitely wasn’t the intended outcome.
Ime Udoka was suspended by the Boston Celtics last month for the whole 2022–23 season after leading the team to the NBA Finals in his first season as head coach and beginning the season as the clear favorite in the Coach of the Year odds.
Because of this, the COY odds have changed a bit, and now Chris Finch of the Timberwolves and Taylor Jenkins of the Grizzlies are in the lead in a very close race that is hard to predict.
Odds of winning NBA Coach of the Year
|Coach||Odds to win COY|
|Taylor Jenkins (Memphis)||+1,000|
|Chris Finch (Minnesota)||+1,000|
|Joe Mazzulla (Boston)||+1,200|
|Erik Spoelstra (Miami)||+1,300|
|Tyronn Lue (L.A. Clippers)||+1,300|
|Steve Nash (Brooklyn)||+1,400|
|Monty Williams (Phoenix)||+1,400|
|Jason Kidd (Dallas)||+1,400|
|Michael Malone (Denver)||+1,400|
|JB Bickerstaff (Cleveland)||+1,400|
|Steve Kerr (Golden State)||+1,500|
|Willie Green (New Orleans)||+1,500|
|Darvin Ham (L.A. Lakers)||+1,700|
|Nick Nurse (Toronto)||+1,800|
|Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee)||+1,800|
|Steve Clifford (Charlotte)||+2,200|
As of October 17, 2022, the odds come from OKBET Sportsbook.
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NBA Coach of the Year favorites
Taylor Jenkins | +1,000
Jenkins, a nominee for Coach of the Year last season, has presided over a dramatic ascent in Memphis, where the Grizzlies have accelerated a rebuild and recently given the eventual champions their toughest fight of the playoffs with Ja Morant out for much of the series.
Memphis may struggle to keep its footing in the West this season, with the Clippers and Nuggets supposedly much healthier but that was the case last year, when the Grizzlies took the NBA by storm.
This squad is loaded with skill, depth, and possibility, and it’s guided by a coach who has a knack for putting together the correct lineups and extracting every ounce of potential from his young players.
Chris Finch | +1,000
Last season, the T-Wolves were a team on the rise, which persuaded new GM Tim Connelly to go all-in with a risky deal for Rudy Gobert to strengthen Minnesota’s interior.
Many are projecting great success for the Wolves, at least during the regular season, now that the DPOY odds leader is holding down the fort. With one of the strongest offenses in the league already, Minnesota can now play both ends of the court, assuming that Gobert doesn’t have too many leaks to plug in Beverley and Vanderbilt’s absence.
Finch is an astute thinker and underappreciated strategist who is in a fantastic position to compete for COY.
Joe Mazzulla | +1,200
With just the pressure of making the NBA Finals to live up to, Mazzulla replaces the past Coach of the Year odds leader and gets to make his head coaching debut on a month’s notice.
But there’s no pressure or anything, you know.
While Ime Udoka’s absence creates a significant hole, Mazzulla has been a team assistant for three years, is familiar with the organizational culture, and wouldn’t have been elevated had Brad Stevens not had the highest confidence in him.
Remember that Udoka was a rookie head coach last year, and Mazzulla will almost probably use the contentious preseason events as the main theme of his story, regardless of how well the Celtics do this year.
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