Chances of Ime Udoka and Taylor Jenkins for 2023 NBA Coach of the Year

2023 NBA Coach of the Year Predictions

Ime Udoka: Favorite for the Title

Ime Udoka, head coach of the Boston Celtics, has emerged as the leading contender for the 2023 NBA Coach of the Year award. In his first season as a head coach, Udoka guided the Celtics to a berth in the NBA Finals, showcasing his exceptional coaching abilities. This impressive feat has made him a favorite with betting odds of +750 at DraftKings.

Taylor Jenkins: A Strong Contender

Another coach to keep an eye on is Taylor Jenkins from the Memphis Grizzlies. Jenkins has been making waves in the coaching world and is highly regarded for his strategic prowess. Despite a relatively young team, Jenkins led the Grizzlies to a solid performance last season, gaining valuable postseason experience. With odds of +1200, Jenkins is a strong contender for the Coach of the Year title.

Monty Williams: A Previous Runner-Up

Monty Williams, head coach of the Phoenix Suns, deserves recognition for his exceptional coaching abilities. Williams took the Suns to the 2021 NBA Finals and secured the best record in the league last season. Although the Suns fell short in the conference semifinals, Williams’ impact on the team cannot be denied. With odds of +1200, he remains a serious competitor for the Coach of the Year award.

Underdogs Worth Considering

Apart from the favorites, there are some underdogs who could surprise everyone and contend for the Coach of the Year title. Ty Lue from the LA Clippers is one such candidate. Even without their star players, Lue demonstrated remarkable coaching skills and led the Clippers admirably. If the Clippers perform well and finish among the top teams in the Western Conference, Lue’s odds of +1300 make him a value pick for the award.

Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder is a significant long shot with odds of +10000. However, it’s worth keeping an eye on the Thunder in the upcoming season. With promising young talents like Josh Giddey and Tre Mann, along with the impressive Chet Holmgren from the draft, Daigneault could surprise skeptics and lead the Thunder to an unexpectedly successful season.

New Coaches with Potential

With new coaching hires, there are always new possibilities for success. Darvin Ham, selected to coach the Los Angeles Lakers, faces the challenge of working with a star-studded roster led by LeBron James. While Ham is deemed somewhat overvalued with odds of +1700, he has the opportunity to prove his coaching prowess if he can effectively handle the team dynamics, particularly with Russell Westbrook in the mix.

Steve Clifford returns for a second stint with the Charlotte Hornets, known for his defensive strategies. However, turning the Hornets into immediate contenders will be an uphill battle, making Clifford a less likely candidate for the Coach of the Year award.

Long Shot Candidates

Considering long shots in the Coach of the Year race can be intriguing. Here are some coaches who may surprise the NBA world:

– Nick Nurse (Toronto Raptors) +1800: Nurse has proven himself as a top-notch coach, leading the Raptors to an NBA championship in 2019. Although his odds are not in his favor this year, his tactical acumen cannot be dismissed.

– Willie Green (New Orleans Pelicans) +1800: As the new head coach of the Pelicans, Willie Green has the opportunity to leave his mark. With a talented roster, he could turn the team into a playoff contender and become a dark horse for the award.

– Wes Unseld Jr (Washington Wizards) +4000: Taking over as head coach of the Washington Wizards, Unseld Jr. has inherited a team led by star player Bradley Beal. If he can guide the Wizards to an unexpected level of success, he could be a long shot worth considering.

– Greg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs) +6500: Popovich is a legendary coach and always a name to watch. Although it may be a challenging season for the Spurs, Popovich’s experience and tactical brilliance could enable him to surpass expectations.


The race for the 2023 NBA Coach of the Year award is filled with talented contenders, both favorites and underdogs. Ime Udoka, Taylor Jenkins, and Monty Williams have already proven their coaching abilities and are legitimate contenders for the title. However, coaches like Ty Lue and Mark Daigneault have the potential to surprise the league and make a strong case for the award. With new coaching hires and long shot candidates, it will be an exciting season to see who emerges as the ultimate recipient of this prestigious accolade.


1. How is the NBA Coach of the Year determined?

The NBA Coach of the Year award is determined by a vote from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Coaches are evaluated based on their team’s success, improvement, and overall performance throughout the regular season.

2. Can a coach win the NBA Coach of the Year multiple times?

Yes, coaches can win the NBA Coach of the Year award multiple times. There are several esteemed coaches who have received this honor multiple times in their careers, showcasing their consistent excellence in leading their teams.

3. Do the playoffs play a role in determining the Coach of the Year?

The NBA Coach of the Year award primarily focuses on regular season performance. However, a coach’s success in the playoffs can influence voters’ perceptions and possibly strengthen their case for the award.

4. Are there any criteria other than team performance for Coach of the Year?

While team performance is a crucial factor, the Coach of the Year award also takes into consideration a coach’s ability to develop players, implement effective strategies, and make impactful in-game decisions. The award acknowledges the overall contributions and impact of a coach on their team’s success.

5. Can a coach win the award without making the playoffs?

Although making the playoffs often strengthens a coach’s case for the award, it is not a strict requirement. In certain circumstances, if a coach has shown remarkable improvement and led their team to significant success during the regular season despite missing the playoffs, they can still be a strong contender for the Coach of the Year title.

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