It’s a coin flip to determine the 2021 NBA Coach of the Year between Quinn Snyder of the Utah Jazz and Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns.
Both coaches lead the top two teams in the Western Conference, with the Jazz (44-16) leading the way with the best overall record in the NBA.
Nick Nurse from the Toronto Raptors won Coach of the Year last season for his stellar job guiding the Raptors after Kawhi Leonard bailed in free agency.
|2021 NBA Coach of the Year Odds|
|Quin Snyder (Jazz)||-133|
|Monty Williams (Suns)||-105|
|Tom Thibodeau (Knicks)||+1100|
|Doc Rivers (76ers)||+1100|
|Steve Nash (Nets)||+1400|
|Mike Malone (Nuggets)||+2800|
|Taylor Jenkins (Grizzlies)||+2800|
|Ty Lue (Clippers)||+3300|
|Mike Budenholzer (Bucks)||+6600|
Mike Malone from the Denver Nuggets leads the long shots on the board, which also includes Taylor Jenkins from the Memphis Grizzlies and Ty Lue of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Mike Budenholzer, who won the NBA Coach of the Year twice since 2015, is a long shot at +6600.
COY: Snyder Leads the Top Jazz
The Coach of the Year will come down to one of the head coaches at the helm of the two surprise teams in the West. Snyder has the current edge at -133 odds to win Coach of the Year.
Snyder and the Jazz got a hot start out of the gate and never looked back. The Jazz are looking to go wire-to-wire and secure the #1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. With a few weeks remaining in the regular season, the Jazz are trying to hold off the Suns and a late surge from the LA Clippers, who just won four in a row and moved within two games of the Jazz in the standings.
Snyder’s Jazz are tough to defeat because they’re one of the most efficient teams in the NBA on both offense and defense. The Jazz are ranked #3 with a 114.8 offensive efficiency rating, but also ranked #2 in defensive efficiency at 105.5. The Jazz have a three-guard offense led by Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, and Jordan Clarkson off the bench. On defense, Rudy Gobert provides the Jazz with a rim protector and roamer inside the paint. The versatile Jazz can beat teams in a shootout, or if they need to grind out possessions, like they’ll have to do in the postseason.
Snyder is known as a deft strategist, especially in plays drawn up in the huddle after a time out (ATO). Along with Brad Stevens and Gregg Popovich, Snyder and the Jazz are among the NBA’s best in ATOs.
Williams: Phoenix Rebirth
The Suns (42-18) are a little more surprising. Then again, the team hinted at their bright future in the NBA Bubble last season. When all of the teams returned to action in Orlando after the season was postponed, the Suns posted the best record with a perfect 8-0 inside the bubble.
In the offseason, the Suns added veteran point guard Chris Paul in a trade. The team wanted to pair Paul with their young superstar Devin Booker, which was clearly the right move.
No one expected the Suns, who hadn’t had a playoff run in more than a decade, could be fighting for a #1 seed in a stacked Western Conference. The team churned through head coaches, with 20 coaches in 50-plus seasons. Phoenix became one of the least desirable places to play in the NBA. All of that changed when Williams arrived.
Williams is a co-favorite at -105 odds to win NBA Coach of the Year and just a smidge behind Snyder in the betting race.
East Coast Bump
The top three teams in the Atlantic Division all have new head coaches this season. All three are near the top of the NBA Coach of the Year futures board, yet all three are clustered in the second tier behind Williams and Snyder.
Tom Thibodeau guided the Knicks to a sensational season and are on a hot streak, winning nine games in a row to move into the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Thibs is +1100 to win coach of the year. Considering how bad the Knicks were last season, his odds should be better.
Doc Rivers finally realized he could never get over the hump with the LA Clippers, so he returned back east to coach the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers are in the middle of a mini-slump and dropped four games in a row. They recently slipped to the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Rivers has done a stellar job, which is why he’s +1100 odds to win his second Coach of the Year award.
Steve Nash is a rookie coach who took over the Brooklyn Nets this year. Nash’s biggest challenge is managing the egos in Brooklyn’s locker room and managing the erratic health of their Big 3. Even without James Harden (hamstring), Nash and the Nets are back in the #1 seed in the East. Nash is +1400 odds to pull off an upset and win Coach of the Year in his debut season.