Outrage has followed the results of the 2018 Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Years Award as Brad Stevens did not receive a single vote. However, Stevens received the exact number of votes he deserved.
The award voted annually by 30 NBA head coaches realized what those who are bothered cannot, and that is the award is solely based on the 2018 regular season … nothing more.
Has Stevens been far superior to his contemporaries this postseason? Yes. Is Stevens the best coach in the NBA? Probably. Would he be the first coach selected if all were available in the open market? Likely. Does any of this matter? Absolutely not.
Stevens never got his team to even play average offense the entire season. The Celtics ranked 20th in points per game and 21st in field goal percentage, Those are both significant falls from one year ago.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey won the award as he should have. He outcoached Stevens for the much of the season.
Casey’s team edged out Stevens’ to secure the first seed, and there is a now solid belief that even with injuries factored in, Casey did so with less talent. Casey was able to get the Raptors looking like (means nothing now) the most well-rounded team in the East by far.
Stevens was without question a solid coach all year, dealing with obstacles to overcome such as the devasting injury to Gordan Hayward and Kyrie Irving’s injury late in the season. But taking out what Boston sports fans want to inaccurately include, Stevens never made a case to be coach of the year.
There were seven other coaches that received at least one vote, outside of Casey. While some were also not deserving, several of them had a stronger case this season than that of Stevens.
This includes the 76ers Brett Brown, the Rockets’ Mike D'Antoni, the Pacers Nate McMillan, the Spurs Gregg Popovich, the Clippers’ Doc Rivers, the Jazz’s Quin Snyder and the Trail Blazers’ Terry Stotts.
Stevens right now looks as he is head and shoulders the best coach in the NBA, and it may end up with Boston returning to the NBA Finals. But do not be fooled by the timing of the results for this award. The NBA coaches got this one 100 percent correct.
In the 2018 regular season, Brad Stevens was a good coach, not great, and not even top 5.