The NBA has awarded the Red Auerbach Trophy to the Coach of the Year since the end of the 1962-63 NBA season. A panel of sportswriters selects the winner of the award at the end of the regular season. A total of 40 different coaches have claimed the award over the years. The winner of the 2020-21 Red Auerbach Trophy was Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks. Thibodeau also won the Coach of the Year in 2011 for his work with the Chicago Bulls.
Gregg Popovich, Don Nelson and Pat Riley have all won the award three times. Hubie Brown, Mike Budenholzer, Mike D’Antoni, Bill Fitch, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Gene Shue, and Thibodeau are two-time winners of the award. No NBA coach has taken home the honor in consecutive seasons. With the Knicks in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, it looks as if that streak will remain intact.
NBA Coach of the Year 2022 Odds
|To Win 2022 NBA Coach of the Year|
Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns was the runner-up to Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks in the voting for the 2021 NBA Coach of the Year. Williams is the current favorite to take home the award at the end of the 2022 NBA campaign. Thibodeau topped Williams by the smallest margin of victory since the current format was introduced in 2003. Williams actually had more first place votes than Thibodeau (45 to 43), but Thibodeau was able to get more overall points (351 to 340) once the second and third place votes were tabulated.
Williams has the Suns at the top of the NBA this season with a 48-10 record. The Suns went to the NBA Finals last season after going 51-21 in the regular season. Phoenix lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games. The Suns have a winning percentage of .828 this season. The team’s previous best winning percentage came in 2005 and 1993, when the team won .756 of their games and finished the season 62-20.
Williams has not won the Red Auerbach Trophy before. He has been behind the Phoenix bench since 2020.
J.B. Bickerstaff has been the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers since February 2020. He took over the reins of the team after John Beilein resigned. In his first full season with the team, Bickerstaff lead the club to a 22-50 record and a winning percentage of .306. The Cavs finished last season with the third worst record in the Eastern Conference.
Things look much different in Cleveland this year. The Cavaliers are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 35-23 and are only 2.5 games behind the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls for the top spot in the conference.
Cleveland hasn’t made the playoffs since the team went to the 2018 NBA Finals where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in four games. It looks as if Bickerstaff will lead the team back to the postseason in 2022.
Taylor Jenkins got his first NBA head coaching job in June 2019, when he was named the coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. In his first season behind the bench in Memphis, Jenkins led the team to a 34-39 record. The club missed the playoffs that year. Last year, Jenkins got the Grizzlies to the playoffs after a 38-34 season. With 60 games played in the 2022 season, Memphis has a 41-19 record, which puts them third in the Western Conference and third in the NBA. The only teams with a better record than the Grizzlies are the Suns and the Golden State Warriors (42-17).
Jenkins has the team clicking this season. Right now, Memphis has a winning percentage of .683, which is tied for the best mark in the franchise’s history. The Grizzlies also had a .683 winning percentage in 2013. The club went to the Conference Finals that year, but the San Antonio Spurs swept Memphis in that series.
As impressive as J.B. Bickerstaff and Taylor Jenkins have been this season, the play of the Suns after going to the NBA Finals last year has been outstanding this season. Monty Williams is the pick to win the 2022 NBA Coach of the Year and take home the Red Auerbach Trophy.
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