The Hot Seat Is Getting Warmed Up For NBA Coaches



We are almost a third of the way through the NBA season, and there should be an idea of which head coaches should start being a little concerned about the pink slip. Here is a look at three certainties, and a group of coaches that could go either way.

Monty Williams, New Orleans

Williams has led the Pelicans since June 2010, and now has one of the NBA’s top five players in Anthony Davis (some would even say top three). But the Pelicans are 10-11 through their first 21 games and you would have to think that if New Orleans were to miss out on the postseason, Williams is gone. If they’re not even in the race by the All-Star break, it could happen before the end of the season.

Frank Vogel, Indiana

Vogel has been dealt a bad hand with the gruesome injury to All-Star Paul George and then the Pacers let Lance Stephenson walk. However, the truth of the matter is that Vogel, who has a 167-100 record with the Pacers, might have taken the team as far as they could go as they couldn’t get past Miami in the Eastern Conference finals in two straight seasons. The Pacers are 7-15 through their first 22 and if it continues to get worse, Vogel should be worried in his fifth season with Indiana.

Jacque Vaughn, Orlando

The Magic have some good, young pieces and are 9-15, which might actually be good for them. But is Vaughn, with a record of 43-121 in two-plus seasons in Orlando, even a good coach? Is he a coach you want managing this young talent? He was an assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, so he has that going for him, but Vaughn might need 35 wins to keep his job in Orlando and that is going to be very difficult for him to get to. 

The “Should Be On The Hot Seat” Group, But Might Survive Somehow

Philadelphia’s Brett Brown, Detroit’s Stan Van Gundy, New York’s Derek Fisher, Minnesota’s Flip Saunders, Bryon Scott of the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah’s Quin Snyder are the coaches of the league’s worst teams and deserve to be on the hot seat, but for one reason or another, might be okay for this year. Most of these teams are tanking (even though they won’t admit it) and are fine with being bad, especially in Philadelphia, where they’re not even trying to hide it. Fisher was handpicked by GM Phil Jackson, so he should be safe despite the Knicks being truly awful. Snyder is in his first year in Utah, so that should give him a pass and the same goes for Van Gundy, although the onus is on Van Gundy and GM Jeff Bower to fix a poor roster.

The wild cards here are Scott and Saunders, but Scott is a former Laker in his first season as the head coach and that should buy him some time (not to mention, Kobe Bryant likes him for now). Saunders is a part-owner as well as the president and coach of the Timberwolves, so things would have to go south very quickly for him to be out of a job.

By The Intern

Discraimer: The author's expressed views and opinions are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of The Greek.