We are one month into the NBA season and there’s already been one major coaching decision with the Brooklyn Nets parting ways with head coach Steve Nash. Here’s a look at some other coaches who remain under pressure to win this season.
Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks
The Knicks have been solid to start the season but they’ll need to improve to remain the playoff picture. The Heat, 76ers and Nets are all likely to improve, which means they’ll probably overtake the Knicks. New York’s core is coming together but there’s a clear playoff-or-bust mandate here from management. Thibodeau needs to deliver or the Knicks will head in a different direction.
Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers
Things haven’t quite gone as planned for Rivers or the 76ers. Joel Embiid missed three games early with an illness and James Harden is out for a month with a foot strain. Philadelphia has gotten off to a slow start but there’s hope Embiid can return to his MVP-level play to sustain the team while Harden recovers. Ultimately, it’ll be playoff performances that determine Rivers’ fate.
- Mike Malone appears to have a complete roster in Denver for the first time in what seems like forever. If the Nuggets can’t make playoff noise, there will be conversations about whether Malone is the right coach for this group.
- The Bulls are dealing with some significant injuries right now but this group should largely come together outside of Lonzo Ball in the key stretch of the season. That means Billy Donovan will be under the microscope. Chicago’s cap sheet doesn’t really allow for major roster moves, which makes a coaching change the easiest path for potential improvement.