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 2021-22 Red Auerbach Trophy was Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns. Williams joined the Suns as the team’s head coach in 2019. He signed a five-year deal with the team. The 2022 award marked Williams’ first time winning NBA Coach of the Year accolades.
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. Can Williams be the first to do so?
NBA Coach of the Year 2023 picks
|To Win 2023 NBA Coach of the Year|
|Wes Unseld Jr.||+4000||+4000||+3800||+3800|
Ime Udoka finished in fourth place in voting for the 2022 NBA Coach of the Year. 2021 was Udoka’s first year behind an NBA bench as a head coach. Things did not go well for him to start the year. The team had a 23-24 record three weeks into January. Udoka turned the club around. They finished the regular season on an incredible 28-7 run. That earned the Celtics the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics opened the Eastern Conference Finals 1-2 to the Miami Heat. The team went on to win that series in seven games and move on to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.
2022 will serve as a great launching point of Udoka and the Celtics. Expectations are that the team will have a much better start to 2023 and ride that success to a deep playoff run. Udoka set the bar incredibly high in his first season in Boston.
Chris Finch has been behind the bench for less than two full seasons for the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2022, he took the team to a 46-36 record, which was seventh best in team history. The club rewarded Finch with a multi-year contract extension before the club won its play-in game for the 2022 NBA postseason. The Timberwolves fell in the first round of the playoffs, losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in six games.
Finch joined the team as head coach in the middle of 2021. The club showed improvements under his leadership in that season, but things really took off for the team with Finch as head coach in 2022 when the team’s fast-paced style saw them lead the league in points per game with 115.9.
The Timberwolves have a young and competitive team and with their improvements last season, expectations are that Finch will make further improvements with the club in 2023.
Finch earned four third-place votes for Coach of the Year in 2022.
Jason Kidd took the Dallas Mavericks to the 2022 Western Conference Finals for the first time since the club won the NBA title in 2011. He also led the team to their best record since that 2011 season at 52-30. In addition, Kidd had the Mavericks checking in as the second-best defensive team in the NBA.
Kidd has served as a head coach in Brooklyn and Milwaukee, but last year was his first season as a member of the Dallas Mavericks staff. He rewarded the team with an outstanding performance and set the bar high for his sophomore season as head coach in Dallas.
Kidd finished in sixth-place in 2022 Coach of the Year voting.
There will be a lot of attention paid to how the coaches who set the bar high in 2022, Ime Udoka, Chris Finch and Jason Kidd, start the 2023 NBA season. If they stumble in any way, their chances of getting the nod as the 2023 NBA Coach of the Year will decrease.
I don’t think any of the above will have a rough start out of the gate.
I do think the results Udoka had in 2022 and his focus on improving and showing that the year was not a fluke will carry him to 2023 NBA Coach of the Year.
Pick: Ime Udoka to win 2023 NBA Coach of the Year.
See below the best online sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: