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Nick Nurse leads the pack in NBA’s Coach of the Year race

We break down the odds of the frontrunners for the NBA’s Coach of the Year Award.

Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors coaches against the Sacramento Kings on March 8, 2020 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.  Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA’s annual performance awards will be based on what happened in the regular season through March 11th this year, so the seeding games that will begin on July 30 won’t be a factor. That means we won’t see Coach of the Year candidates improving or worsening their odds ahead of the season restart. We break down the DraftKings Sportsbook odds of some of the top contenders below.

Nick Nurse (-1000)

Nurse is the favorite and should run away with this award. Some speculated that the Toronto Raptors would drop out of the playoffs following the departure of Kawhi Leonard, but they have actually flourished. Toronto has the second seed in the Eastern Conference and only trail the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers in wins. The reigning champs were counted out ahead of this season, but this second-year coach rose to the occasion.

Mike Budenholzer (+2000)

Budenholzer has the second best odds and won it last year. It’s not surprising that the Bucks have the best record in the NBA with reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo running the show. They maintained their dominance on both sides of the ball after losing Malcolm Brogdon, but they’re exactly where everyone expected them to be.

Frank Vogel (+2000)

Vogel has odds even with Budenholzer’s after taking the Los Angeles Lakers from being outside of the playoff picture to the top team in the Western Conference. However, the significant impact of the blockbuster trade Los Angeles made to acquire Anthony Davis over the offseason can’t be brushed under the rug. The Lakers shipped out a ton of young players to pair an elite, two-way star with LeBron James. His team has been among the favorites to win it all from the very start and didn’t have to overcome much adversity. Rob Pelinka might have a real case for Executive of the Year, though.

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