From Erik Spoelstra leading the Miami Heat from an 11-30 record back into playoff position to Quin Snyder taking the Jazz to their first playoff appearance since 2012 to Scott Brooks turning the Wizards into one of the most feared teams in the Eastern Conference, there are plenty of worthy candidates for Coach of the Year. But in the mind of Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who won the award last season, one name stands out: Mike D’Antoni.
The Houston Rockets coach has taken over a team that barely snuck into the playoffs last year as the eighth seed and has guided it to a 51-23 record — a mark which has them essentially locked into the No. 3 seed in the West. D’Antoni has James Harden playing the best basketball of his career and has made Houston’s high-powered offense even more deadly. Last season, the Rockets finished eighth in the league with an offensive rating of 105.5. This season, they’re second and putting up a remarkable 112.3 points per 100 possessions.