Tha Sports Junkies 101

Five coaches on the hot seat this season in the NBA!

Coaches Philadelphia 76ers via Flickr


Another NBA season is upon us, and you know what that means. It’s time for some coaches to get good or get out. Last season, not one head coach was fired during the season. That’s the first time that has happened since 1971. That being said, only four head coaches have been in their current job for more than five years: Gregg Popovich, Rick Carlisle, Erik Spoelstra, and Dwane Casey. These are the five coaches who need to step up this season, or they could lose their jobs.

Fred Hoidberg (Chicago Bulls)

Now entering his third season as Chicago’s head coach, Fred Hoidberg doesn’t have much going for him. Coaching a historically successful franchise which has seen the likes of Phil Jackson and Tom Thibodeau at the helm is already an uphill battle for the former Iowa State head coach. After missing the playoffs for the first time in eight years in Hoidberg’s rookie season, Chicago lost to the Celtics 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs last season.

The bad news for Coach Hoidberg is what he has to work with after last season. Now that the failed D-Wade experiment is over, Chicago’s roster consists of guys like Kris Dunn, Justin Holiday, and Robin Lopez… the starting lineup. Couple that with the fact that ESPN ranked him the worst coach in the league.  Things don’t look great for Hoidberg.

Doc Rivers (LA Clippers)

What?? Doc Rivers is on the hot seat?? You better believe it. The Clips finished 51-31 last season and got the fourth seed in the West. That was with Chris Paul. While there’s something to be said about the LAC choosing Doc over CP3, after reports surfaced that the coach and his star player were not getting along, Clippers fans and management are starting to get impatient. Rivers has a career .57.9 win percentage (1,388-804) which is more than respectable. His postseason résumé leaves a lot to be desired though. When you think Doc Rivers, you think Boston Celtics, Finals every year, perennial success, right? Not so much actually. In nine years with Boston, Rivers led the team to seven playoff appearances and one NBA Championship. It’s hard to believe after all that success in Boston, Rivers only has one championship under his belt as a coach.

With the LA Clippers, it’s not really that different. In four years with Los Angeles, Doc has led the team to the playoffs each year but has lost more than his voice every time. Never making it past the conference semifinals, I doubt that will change this year with a weaker roster and a stronger Western Conference. The logo himself Jerry West joined LA as a consultant this summer, and he knows how to win. Expect Doc to get the boot soon if the Clippers can’t make it to the conference finals at the very least this year.

Brett Brown (Philadelphia 76ers)

One of my dad’s favorite sayings about the NBA is “if the team’s front office says the head coach has their full support, he’ll be gone by next month.” Such is not the case with Brett Brown. Philly’s front office has repeatedly voiced their support for Brown, despite his inherent lack of success with the 76ers. Brown is 75-253 (.22.9 percent) in four seasons with Philly. This season he joins the esteemed list of coaches who have held their job for five or more years. Does he really deserve it? When does the “oh all his best players are hurt” excuse start to lose steam?

I’ll say this in Brett Brown’s defense, all of his best players have been hurt. That being said, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Markelle Fultz are all young, talented and appear to be healthy. If he can’t win with this team, it might be back to Australia for Brown. (Brown has 2 NBL Championships from his time coaching the North Melbourne Giants (1993-1999) and Sydney Kings (2000-2003).

Dwane Casey (Toronto Raptors)

Like I mentioned, Dwane Casey has been with the Raptors longer than the average head coach lasts in the NBA. Casey also boasts a decently impressive 261-215 (.54.8 percent) record in six years with the Raptors. “But Matt! The Raptors finished with the same record as Cleveland last year! They got the third seed in the East! Toronto loves Dwane Casey!” I know, I know, but hear me out. It seems like Casey gets in and out of the hot seat more than any other coach. Rumors of his potential firing have circulated nonstop since Toronto got swept by the Wizards in the first round of the 2015 playoffs. The Raptors re-signed big man Serge Ibaka this offseason. They also lost key role players, PJ Tucker and Patrick Patterson.

If Toronto can’t get past the essentially set-in-stone top two of Boston and Cleveland in the East playoffs this season, “The North” might be looking for a new head coach.

Tyronn Lue (Kinda Coaches the Cleveland Cavaliers)

A curveball! The highly successful Cleveland Cavaliers will play the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals this ye….oh, what’s that? They haven’t played this season yet? I guess I wasn’t supposed to tell you that, but are you that surprised? Despite the fact that Cleveland is all but guaranteed to play the Warriors for the championship this year (sorry Celtics fans), Lue’s job is not all that secure. Lue did save Cleveland from the trainwreck that was David Blatt two seasons ago. His Cavs also lost 31 games last season, however, the most for any LeBron James-led team since 2008, and just barely got the number two seed ahead of Toronto.

On top of all of that, we know Cleveland (LeBron) does not like losing. Say Golden State edges them out in the Finals again this year, what’re they going to do, fire LeBron? Good one. All it takes is one disagreement with stars LeBron or Isaiah Thomas and a less than desirable outcome in the playoffs and that could be all she wrote for Lue, who is otherwise most notable for getting stepped over by Allen Iverson.

What coaches do you think should be on the hot seat this season? Leave a comment down below.

Follow TSJ Sports on Twitter @TSJ_Sports and @TSJ_NBA. You can follow me @mholzapfel3.