Scott Brooks named Coach of the Year


Back when the Thunder were 3-29 last season, the notion of the playoffs coming to Oklahoma City any time soon was unimaginable.

But it was that same miserable stretch that made general manager Sam Presti confident that coach Scott Brooks was the right man to lead his team into the future.

While Oklahoma City struggled to the worst start in the NBA, Presti was impressed by the way Brooks stayed the course and never tried to force immediate changes in hopes of making the Thunder better. He has now taken the youngest roster in the league and turned the team into a 50-game winner and a playoff team just one season after the horrendous start.

For that best-in-the NBA turnaround, Brooks was recognized Wednesday as the NBA’s coach of the year. He received 71 of 123 first-place votes and 480 points to finish ahead of Milwaukee’s Scott Skiles (26 first-place votes, 313 points) and Portland’s Nate McMillan (9, 107).

I thought that the race between Brooks and Skiles would be closer. Before the season, the over/under for Bucks’ wins was 28.5 while the Thunder had an over/under of 34.5. Milwaukee exceeded its total by 17.5, while Oklahoma City was +15.5. Granted, the Eastern Conference isn’t as strong as the West, but that was taken into account when the oddsmakers made the initial line. To Vegas, the Bucks were a bigger surprise, and let’s not forget that Skiles led his team to 46 wins without a transcendent, on-the-rise player like Kevin Durant or even a single All-Star. And he lost Michael Redd early in the season.

Brooks did a hell of a job this year, but I think Skiles’ overall season was a bit better. But maybe I’m just a Bucks homer.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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