Billy Donovan Coach of the Year
With all due respect to Nick Nurse, who is doing an excellent job in Toronto, your NBA coach of the year is Billy Donovan. Nurse did lose a top-three player in Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green also went west, and Marc Gasol has only appeared in 36 games this season.
However, Kyle Lowery, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Serge Ibaka are all returning from a championship run. While there was going to be a drop off after losing the finals MVP, you still have an experienced roster that just won an O'Brien trophy, and Vegas expected you to win 45.5 games.
While the Raptors were underestimated that 45.5 (second in the east when the season stopped) would have had them right in the middle of the pack for a playoff spot in the east, not championship level, but not in the toilet either.
As for Donovan, you lost three of your starting five players, including MVP Russell Westbrook, and darn near MVP Paul Geroge. You had to explain to Dennis Schroder he was going to continue to come off the bench even though he keeps proving he can start just about anywhere in the association.
For the fifth consecutive year, you saw significant roster changes, and somehow you're arguably better than you were the season before. The oddsmakers said you would only win 31 games, and you're already nine better than that with 18 left on schedule.
Strangely, with the Thunder stocked with selfless players like Chris Paul, Nerlens Noel, and Danilo Gallinari setting the tone, it's somehow diminished the job Donovan has done getting them to buy into to his style of play.
Not to take anything away from the leader Paul is, but the mutual respect he and Donovan show each other is what allows the rest of the Thunder to hear Donovan's message. If we go by what the experts at Sports Illustrated say Nurse is your winner if the season doesn't continue.
While I respect the opinions of all who contributed, I am asking you to reconsider your choice, especially if Oklahoma City can pull off a 50 win season. Of course, that depends on the season getting back underway, and even if it doesn't Donovan is my guy, and there is no doubt this is his most excellent job as the Thunder's head man.
Schroder Sixth Man Of the Year:
Billy Donovan may not be the coach of the year according to our experts, Dennis Schroder was the overwhelming choice for the sixth man of the year. According to Chris Mannix, "This is brutally close. By default, you want to give the award to [Lou] Williams, a three-time sixth man winner who has won the last two and who submitted another superlative worthy season. But Schroder—who the Thunder acquired for Carmelo freaking Anthony two summers ago—has been outstanding. He's a tick ahead of Williams in scoring while besting him in field goal (46.8%) and three-point percentage (38.1%). He's a better defensive player, too. Williams is great, but would the Clippers be where they are without him? Maybe not. Would Oklahoma City be having the kind of season it is having without Schroder? Definitely not."
What Do You Think:
Should Billy Donovan be the NBA coach of the year? Just click the comment box below.