Head coach changes are happening more frequently in today’s NBA than ever before.
Every year, several teams experience staff turnover.
Sometimes it happens because the coach doesn’t live up to the team’s expectations.
In other cases, this is due to the fact that the coach simply leaves.
In any case, frequent losses are usually a response to an ever-increasing desire to win.
If a team is in the process of rebuilding, it will leave the current coach when it wants someone to take it to the next level.
If a team sees itself as a contender, it will walk away from the current coach if the front office thinks the coach isn’t winning enough.
The latter is the case when the next three coaches find themselves in the 2022-23 season.
If the results don’t improve, they will be out.
Head coaches warm up
Think of it like an “honorable mention” section.
These trainers may not be in the hot seat yet, but may be in a year or less.
Nate McMillan took over as interim head coach midway through the 2020–21 season after the Atlanta Hawks fired Lloyd Pierce.
And he kept the job for the 2021-22 season after graduation 27-11 and the leadership of the Hawks to a surprise appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals.
But he did not rely on this strong finish.
The Hawks went 43-39 this year and lost to the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
While the offense continued to hum, all the defensive gains made the year before were lost.
Another coach who may start feeling the heat in a year is Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets have consistently been one of the best teams in the NBA for the past five seasons.
They have four straight NBA playoff appearances and one Western Conference Finals appearance.
But Denver will need to see some real results if they have a full roster this year.
Malone will enters its eighth season franchised and has a 21-27 track record to show it off.
The Nuggets will have the talent to challenge for the title.
Anything but a real contender can put Malone in a hot seat.
3. Duane Casey, Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons head coach Dwayne Casey is number one.
Which he did, but immediately lost in the first round.
Since then, the Pistons have been rebuilding.
Griffin and Drummond are no longer on the team. Cade Cunningham was selected first last year to be the franchise’s cornerstone.
Along with Cunningham, there are other intriguing young works.
Will join next year 5th pick in this year’s draftwhoever it was.
Casey could stay until the end of the year.
A coach with 13 years of experience can be useful for the development of players.
Heard Dwayne Casey is also in Boston with Cade, Stew and Killian. My guess is that he wants the young guys to get into the atmosphere of this level of basketball.
— James Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) May 24, 2022
But that’s not why Casey was brought here.
The Pistons hired him to win, not lead a rebuild.
And at 65 with a 63-157 record over the past three seasons, Detroit may need a fresh voice in the locker room.
A slow start in Motor City could mean Casey will be quickly out the door next year.
2. Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks
Next on the list is Tom Thibodeau, head coach of the New York Knicks.
Prior to Thibodeau’s arrival, the Knicks had not made the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons.
And, like Casey, he did just that.
The Knickerbockers went 41-31, finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Tom Thibodeau was named 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year. 🏆
Tibs led the New York Knicks to a 41–31 record, ending a 7-year franchise playoff drought. pic.twitter.com/3rowqJQa2r
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 7, 2021
For the first time in seven years, Madison Square Garden will host a playoff series.
This would be short-lived because Trae Young and the upstart Hawks dealt with them in five games.
But the Big Apple had high hopes for the future.
Randle and Barrett will continue to lead the way, and big offseason acquisitions will help kickstart a poor offense.
It wasn’t like that.
As the tightest defense in the league in scoring in 2020-21, New York dropped to sixth last year.
Meanwhile, attack left stuck in neutral in 26th place.
New York has dropped to 37-45 this year and hasn’t even sniffed the playoffs.
Thibodeau has a habit of overworking players and quickly tiring his guests.
Without significant changes in the game, the Knicks will almost certainly be looking for a new head coach next year.
1. Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers
Last but not least, Doc Rivers has been the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers for the last two seasons.
A coach who has apparently lost his way since his days in Boston.
Nine seasons with the Celtics brought a 416–305 record, two trips to the NBA Finals and one title.
Since then, Rivers has been one of the best regular season coaches in the NBA.
He compiled a 456–262 record in seven seasons with the Clippers and two with the Sixers.
After going 59-47 with the Celtics, Rivers was 27-32 with the Clippers and 13-11 with the Philadelphia.
He did not reach the conference finals with either team.
Doc Rivers hasn’t reached a conference final since 2011-12 with these teams, by the way. pic.twitter.com/1QDLMYVT28
– . (@maxlacpg) May 13, 2022
In the 2020/21 season, Rivers could point to the collapse of the starting point guard. Ben Simmons.
Last year bad injury time with Joel Embiid cut short what could have been a strong playoff run.
But for a team as desperate to win as the 76ers, even strong excuses won’t last long.
Embiid finished second in the MVP race two years in a row.
Simmons was sent in a deal to enter James Harden.
And with another offseason from Daryl Morey to build a strong roster, all eyes will be on Rivers to prove himself this time around.
Anything short of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals would have spelled the end of Rivers’ tenure in Philadelphia.