NBA Coaching Rankings: CBSSports ratings


This is a very interesting article. It’s not very common to have NBA Coaching Rank so it’s worth our discussion to see how NBA Analysts see the quality of coaches as a leader and tactician.

Just for the summary, here is what JLin Fans would like to know:

  • Pop is #1 as everyone would expect under “The Elites” category
  • Byron Scott is ranked #16 under “The High Expectations Crew” category
  • Kevin McHale is ranked #21 under “The Cause-for-Concern Allotment” category

The general sentiment in the article is Byron Scott has a reputation for a good coach for your players and teaches good defense but not a serious contender for Coach of the Year (COY). McHale is lucky not to get fired after the poor job in the POR playoff series.



Coaches are judged on:

• Perceived X’s and O’s
• Personality management
• Motivational ability
•A little media management (since it’s part of the gig) thrown in.

Legitimate Coach of the Year preseason candidates; considered best coaches in the NBA

1. Gregg Popovich Team: San Antonio Spurs Rating: 10.0

2. Rick Carlisle Team: Dallas Mavericks Rating: 9.5

3. Doc Rivers Team: Los Angeles Clippers Rating: 9.0

4. Erik Spoelstra Team: Miami Heat Rating: 8.5

5. Tom Thibodeau Team: Chicago Bulls Rating: 8.0


T6. Steve Clifford Team: Charlotte Hornets Rating: 7.5

T6. Jeff Hornacek Team: Phoenix Suns Rating: 7.5

T8. Frank Vogel Team: Indiana Pacers Rating: 7.0

T8. Stan Van Gundy Team: Detroit Pistons Rating: 7.0

T10. Mike Budenholzer Team: Atlanta Hawks Rating: 6.5

T10. Terry Stotts Team: Portland Trail Blazers Rating: 6.5


These coaches represent the middle-rung, and are all (for the most part) good coaches with established reasons why they should win. Some are dealing with expectations of building off a high-mark year, some are dealing with title pressure, and some jobs simply come with seats pre-warmed. These coaches are further away from being fired than some of their peers, but these are also coaches whose seats could get red hot if no-injury disaster befalls them.

T10. Scott Brooks 
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder Rating: 6.5

13. Dwane Casey Team: Toronto Raptors Rating: 6.0

14. Lionel Hollins Team: Brooklyn Nets Rating: 5.5

15. Dave Joerger Team: Memphis Grizzlies Rating: 5.0

T16. Randy Wittman Team: Washington Wizards Rating: 4.0

T16. Byron Scott Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Rating: 4.0

Comment: Scott takes over the Lakers, who are expected to win because they are always expected to win and because Kobe Bryant is a lunatic. He’s supposed to bring the defense that was missing the last two years back into vogue, and he’s got some veterans (Carlos Boozer, Jordan Hill, Jeremy Lin... and yeah, Nick Young) to try and actually win some games with Bryant back. At the same time, most expect the team to be a trainwreck.

Scott has a near-lock to keep his job, because despite the optimism you can manufacture, this team’s third-best player might be Swaggy P. They purposefully didn’t really go all out to build a playoff team because they wanted to keep cap room. Scott is dealing with the temp guys here, the replacements. The locker room would have to turn on him something fierce.

And there’s good reason to believe Scott can do some things here, too. Scott’s reputation is “hard on young guys, good defensive coach.” But that wasn’t really true in Cleveland. They had a bottom-16 defensive efficiency each year Scott was there. He needs good, veteran talent to coach defense well, and he certainly doesn’t have that in L.A. But what he does have is some guys he can probably teach to be good players. He worked well with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, just as he did with Marcus Thornton and Darren Collison in New Orleans.

Scott will still be Lakers coach this time next year, and he probably won’t be COY. He’s basically free from evaluation until the team actually decides to try and go after the ring.


T16. Brian Shaw Team: Denver Nuggets Rating: 4.0

T16. Flip Saunders Team: Minnesota Timberwolves Rating: 4.0

20. Monty Williams Team: New Orleans Pelicans Rating: 3.5

T21. Kevin McHale Team: Houston Rockets

Rating: 3.0

Comment: It was a little shocking McHale survived the Rose Garden debacle. The Rockets should have been considerably better than they were last year, and even if you chalk it up to unfamiliarity, the way they were unprepared in key moments defensively was just atrocious. The Rockets had Dwight Howard last season and were still bad defensively in the fourth.

The Rockets enter the season with a worse roster on paper, but one that might be better together. Putting those pieces together will be on McHale. The problem is that if this were a confidence poll, McHale might be last. McHale has clashed with some players in the past (Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic to name two recently), but he also built a really close relationship with some of the players, like Chandler Parsons… who isn’t there anymore.

McHale doesn’t just need to fight off the calls that he’s why the Rockets aren’t better this season. He needs to prove a reason why he’s the guy for the job. He may have been helpful in recruiting Howard, but that part is over.

T21. Mike Malone 
Team: Sacramento Kings Rating: 3.0

T21. Jacque Vaughn Team: Orlando Magic Rating: 3.0

T21. Jason Kidd Team: Milwaukee Bucks Rating: 3.0


T21. Brett Brown Team: Philadelphia 76ers Rating: 3.0

T21. Brad Stevens Team: Boston Celtics Rating: 3.0


 First-year head coaches

27. David Blatt, Team: Cleveland Cavaliers Rating: 8.5*

28. Steve Kerr Team: Golden State Warriors Rating: 7.5*

29. Quin Snyder Team: Utah Jazz Rating: 5.0*

30. Derek Fisher Team: New York Knicks Rating: 3.0*