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Coaches on the hot seat entering 2022-23 NBA season

Here’s a look at the head coaches feeling the pressure as the new NBA season begins.

Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets
Head coach Doc Rivers looks on in the first half against the Brooklyn Nets during a preseason game at Barclays Center on October 03, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The 2022-23 NBA season has several high-profile coaches feeling the pressure to get results this season or potentially get out. The Atlantic division is seemingly the place to be when it comes to the coaching hot seat this season. Here’s a look at the coaches who need to deliver big in this campaign to show they’re the right person for the gig.

Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons is gone and James Harden, who appears more motivated than ever to win, is back. Joel Embiid is coming off his best season ever. Tyrese Maxey continues to develop, while Philly’s bench and depth look promising. If Rivers can’t get the job done with this group, Daryl Morey will make a change. It’s title or bust in Philly for Rivers.

Steve Nash, Brooklyn Nets

The players involved can pretend this is water under the bridge but there are bound to be some lingering feelings here. Nash has consistently been undermined by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, with things getting turned up to 11 this offseason. He has to get this team to the NBA Finals or the stars will demand another coaching change.

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

There’s always pressure in New York. Thibodeau made the playoffs two seasons ago before falling flat last year with a seemingly better group. The Knicks have enough young talent where a step forward could be enough to keep Thibodeau around even if he misses the postseason. A play-in berth seems like the minimum requirement for the coach to stick around though.

Honorable mentions

  • The Hawks got a second star in Dejounte Murray, which means expectations are high for Nate McMillan. He turned this team around in 2020-21 to go all the way to the conference finals before getting bounced in the first round last year. The players like him but another first-round exit might be the end for McMillan.
  • Mike Malone hasn’t really had a healthy team since the Orlando bubble, so his job security might be more sturdy than we think. However, the Nuggets expect to be title contenders with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. back. Anything less than a conference finals appearance will have the front office evaluating Malone’s future.