We’ve had just one casualty in the NBA coaching ranks this season. Steve Nash was relieved of his post in Brooklyn early on. But there are always rumblings over who’s next as we as a society love to talk about others falling on hard times. Many of us also like placing a bet online on such matters.
Let’s check the latest NBA news, stats, injury report and NBA lines for NBA Games. We’ve got plenty of NBA picks for you to consider.
Nate McMillan, Atlanta Hawks
When McMillan took over during the 2020-21 season and propelled the young Hawks to an unexpected run to the Eastern Conference finals, it seemed a great marriage. However, there was scant improvement last season and a first-round playoff exit, and Atlanta may be taking a step back in 2022-23.
The Hawks had a recent hot stretch but entered Tuesday at 25-26 and on the fringe of the Eastern Conference playoff race. McMillan also had a notable dust-up with superstar Trae Young. That seems to have blown over and this could be a dangerous team if it gets anywhere this spring. It also just might be wasting another prime Young season, and for that McMillan could get tossed.
Dwane Casey, Detroit Pistons
He’s a respected man who has done some good things guiding a young team with some talent, but one in need of a lot of seasoning. Casey had a similar situation in Toronto and slowly built that franchise into a winner that Nick Nurse then took to the promised land.
It’s just taking a lot longer for things to happen in Detroit, which has averaged 26 wins in Casey’s first four seasons and is on target for fewer than that in 2022-23. At some point, you just make a move to make a move and see if the talent can respond to someone else.
Chauncey Billups, Portland Trail Blazers
Injuries had a lot to do with it, but Billups’ first season with the Trail Blazers went south after a strong start and they finished 27-55. Portland burst out of the gate once again this season but, again, have struggled to keep the pace.
Damian Lillard can make anyone look like a genius on certain nights, carrying the squad. Too often the supporting cast isn’t up to snuff when Lillard is out or just having an off night. That would seem to fall on the shoulders of the head coach, who has two more years under contract and then an option year.
Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls
The talent is there in the Windy City but the wins have been hard to come by ever since the 2022 All-Star break. That sample size is large enough to have many in Chicago wondering if Donovan is the answer.
He’s enjoyed plenty of success in college and in his first NBA stop in Oklahoma City. When he took a non-playoff Bulls team in 2020-21 to the top of the East well into last season, it felt as if this was a great fit. The Lonzo Ball injury deflated the team in 2022-23, and Donovan has not been able to find an answer despite getting solid production from stars DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.
Chicago is 9-16 in games involving clutch situations, among the worst marks in the league. Bulls fans have lamented Donovan’s fourth-quarter decisions. Also, some of the young players seemingly haven’t developed under Donovan. That’s the kind of thing that can turn the heat up real quick.
Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks
It wasn’t long ago that Kidd had the Mavericks on the cusp of the NBA Finals before they bowed out to Golden State. You’d like to think that run bought him plenty of time, and it probably did. But if you told a Dallas fan at that time that Luka Doncic would take his game to another level the following season and the team would be only two games over .500 at the end of January, they’d have to wonder what went wrong.
In essence, a lot of it falls on the front office. The Jalen Brunson departure has proved to be a bit too much to absorb and there’s just a missing part or two. Perhaps they can find the fix on the trade market. If not, and if the mediocrity extends into next season, Kidd will be under more pressure.