Why Nick Nurse Feels the Miami Heat in the NBA Coach of the Year Odds
Greetings and salutations NBA fans. Welcome back to our weekly discussion regarding the guys most likely to be considered as legitimate contenders for the Coach of the Year award. A week ago, the list included Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat, Brad Stevens from the Boston Celtics and Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors.
The common dominator with each of the coaches this week is that all their odds have improved from where they were last week. So, without further ado, here’s an updated look at how these coaches are ranked based upon how their teams performed over the past week (Dec. 27 through Jan. 2).
Coach of the Year 2020 Odds
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Third-Best Odds for NBA Coach of the Year: Brad Stevens (+500). Last Week’s Odds (+450)
Brad Stevens comes into this week at the No. 3 spot, down from the No. 2 slot from a week ago. The Boston Celtics played in three games over the past week, posting wins in two of those outings. As expected, they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers by a 129-117 margin. After winning their first game in Toronto in quite some time, the Raptors exacted a measure of revenge, as they came away with a 113-97 win and they held the Cs to just 39.7 percent shooting from the field.
The Celtics concluded their week with a 109-92 win against the Charlotte Hornets, as Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward combined for 67 points. Thanks to a solid week, the Celtics have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. With upcoming games against the Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards and the San Antonio Spurs, the Celtics are in position for another good week. At least, in theory, that is.
Second-Best Odds for NBA Coach of the Year: Erik Spoelstra (+400). Last Week’s Odds (+500)
Erik Spoelstra, who was No. 3 on last week’s list – comes in at the No. 2 spot. The Miami Heat played in four games this week. Miami kicked off its week with a pair of one-point victories against the Indiana Pacers (113-112) and the Philadelphia 76ers (117-116). Somehow, though, the Heat came out flat against the Washington Wizards, as the home team prevailed with a surprising 123-105 victory.
Fortunately, order was restored, as Miami bounced back with an 84-76 win against the Toronto Raptors, giving them a 3-1 mark on the week and seven wins overall in their last 10 outings. While neither the Heat or Celtics are going to overtake the Milwaukee Bucks for the best record in the conference, both teams are certainly keeping things interesting early on.
Best Odds for NBA Coach of the Year: Nick Nurse (+400). Last Week’s Odds (+450)
Nick Nurse continues to defy the odds, as he retains his hold on the coveted No. 1 spot. As was the case with the Heat, the Raptors played in four contests over the past week and the results were a mixed bag. As previously mentioned, they notched a 113-97 win over the Boston Celtics on Dec. 28. They followed that up with a narrow one-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After posting a 20-point win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Raptors concluded their week with an 84-76 loss at the hands of the Miami Heat. But despite another up-and-down week, Nick Nurse’s odds have improved slightly from where they were a week ago. Not only that, the Raptors continue to show that they can play with the best of them from a defensive standpoint. They are fourth in the NBA in points allowed. They have the second-best defensive rating in the league and they continue to give the opposition fits, as they are limiting their opponents to just 42.2 percent shooting from the field.
The significance here is that conversion rate is the second-lowest mark in the league behind the Milwaukee Bucks, who are holding their opponents to 41.1 percent shooting. Even more important, the Raptors have crept back into the fourth spot in the conference playoff race. Despite missing key players, the Raptors continue to hang around, which is more than likely contributing to Nick Nurse being the current frontrunner for the COTY award.