Continuing a tradition that began here at Sir Charles in Charge almost one year ago, we will once again be giving you our predictions and picks for all of the year-end NBA hardware with our 2013 SCIC NBA Awards.
Over the next several days, you will see who the writers here at the site selected as the winners for the following awards…
NBA Coach Of The Year/NBA Rookie Of The Year/NBA Defensive Player Of The Year/NBA Sixth Man Of The Year/NBA Most Improved Player/NBA Most Valuable Player.
For our first award, let’s take a look at who’s walking away with the SCIC award (Editor’s Choice) for NBA Coach Of The Year for 2013.
(all numbers accurate as of April 16, 2013)
Second runner-up: Eric Spoelstra – Miami Heat (65-16, first in Eastern Conference)
Eric Spoelstra is the head coach of the best team in the NBA. That should easily be enough for him to be (at least) a top-three candidate on any Coach Of The Year list.
Sure, guys like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade deserve a majority of the credit for the success of Miami in 2012-13, but none of this success would have been possible without a strong-minded coach at the helm.
Let’s give the man some credit for basically starting the revolution that is having undersized forwards playing at the five spot. It’s worked. Sure, anyone can put three players the caliber of James/Wade/Bosh on the court and get amazing results, but Spoelstra has also taken some of his seldom heard of players (Cole, Battier, Anderson) and gotten major contributions in key games.
Remember, 27-game winning streaks just don’t come out of thin air.
The Miami Heat are a better team than they were last year, and that’s saying a lot. especially considering they won the NBA Championship.
First runner-up: Gregg Popovich – San Antonio Spurs (58-23, second in Western Conference)
Gregg Popovich is a yearly mainstay in the Coach Of The Year talks, mainly because many fans and experts continue to ride his team off at the start of the season. Age has to catch up to the San Antonio Spurs. It just has too.
Yet, year after year, there they are, right near the top of the Western Conference. 2012-13 was no exception, as the Spurs (currently) own a record of 58-23, which has them sitting pretty at the second seed.
He was the recipient of the NBA Coach Of The Year Award in 2012, so the odds of him winning for the second-year in a row are slim-to-none. No coach in NBA history has ever won back-to-back Coach Of The Year Awards, which is a shame, because Popovich deserves the strongest of considerations.
Tim Duncan and Tony Parker had all-star seasons, despite numerous missed games and injuries, and young players like Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter and Danny Green have stepped up and become important, integral pieces of the rotation.
The word “genius” shouldn’t be thrown around lightly, but in 2012-13, Gregg Popovich showed once again that he is indeed just that.
WINNER: George Karl – Denver Nuggets (56-25, third in Western Conference)
George Karl is probably one of the few coaches in the league who genuinely doesn’t want to win the Coach Of The Year award.
— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) February 10, 2013
Of the 50 NBA Coach Of The Year winners in NBA history, 22 of them were eventually fired (44%). In fact, every winner from 2005 to 2009 was fired within one to two seasons of winning the award.
Perhaps there really is a curse.
Well, whether he wants the distinction or not, George Karl is our Coach Of The Year for 2013. It’s an extremely crowded field, but Karl stands out amongst the pack for what he’s done with his Denver Nuggets this season.
Only one player on the roster (Andre Miller) is older than 29 years old. Denver started the season playing 22 of their first 32 games away from home (won 17 of them). Not one player on the team is averaging more than 17 points a game.
Yet, despite all of that, the Denver Nuggets find themselves with a record of 56-25, which is a franchise-best for wins in a season. They sit third in the Western Conference, and four games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for first.
Rather than having one superstar player take them to the promise land, George Karl has gotten strong seasons out of a multitude of players. Nine players average at least 8.0 points per game, while six (Lawson, Iguodala, Gallinari, Chandler, Brewer and Faried) score in double-figures.
Some “experts” have their doubts with the Nuggets when it comes to their postseason aspirations, because how could a team without a superstar talent win an NBA Championship?
It’s certainly going to be difficult, especially now with Danilo Gallinari out for the remainder of the season, but believe me, no one in their right mind would want to be matched up with the Nuggets in a seven-game series, I can promise you that. They lead the league in offensive rebounds (13.3) and fast-break points (19.9), they have a top-five second-unit, and they score the second-most points in the NBA today (106.0).
The effort is there.
Coach Karl deserves to be commended for taking a roster full of youth and potential and making them one of the most feared teams not only out west, but in the entire league.
He did the most with the least.
Honorable Mentions – Lionel Hollins (Memphis Grizzlies), Mike Woodson (New York Knicks), Scott Brooks (Oklahoma City Thunder), Tom Thibodeau (Chicago Bulls), Mark Jackson (Golden State Warriors)
Staff Writer Picks
Jay Rosales (@Rosalesaurus) – 3) Mike Woodson of the New York Knicks 2) George Karl of the Denver Nuggets 1) WINNER: Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs
John Armstrong (@JohnYArmstrong) – 3) George Karl of the Denver Nuggets 2) Scott Brooks of the Oklahoma City Thunder 1) WINNER: Mike Woodson of the New York Knicks
Michael Lingberg (@Lingberg2000) – 3) Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs 2) Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics 1) WINNER: Kevin McHale of the Houston Rockets
Dante Nelson (@DanteWrites) – 3) Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls 2) Eric Spoelstra of the Miami Heat 1) WINNER: George Karl of the Denver Nuggets