You either like him or have complete disdain for him. Like him or not, shouldn’t Denver Nuggets coach George Karl be Coach of the Year?As the regular season draws near a close there are teams pushing for the playoffs and teams juggling position in the post season. The Denver Nuggets recently just clinched their spot in the playoffs for the second consecutive year, but this year is an interesting story.
The Nuggets started out this season having their on nights and off nights, floating around 500-ball until dropping to 17-25. Enter new coach George Karl.
Karl took over the team and faced his old team, the Milwaukee Bucks, in his first game, a Nugget victory. Denver since has been one of the hottest teams in the league, surging past the squandering Lakers and the ego-tested Timberwolves and claiming a playoff spot in the western conference. Nobody should want to play the Nuggets right now either, as they are the best team since the all-star break, losing only twice! No team has ever had such a great record after the all star break. Not the Chicago Bulls. Not the LA Lakers. Not the Boston Celtics.
While he has not been on the bench the entire season it is of little doubt that Karl is the reason Denver is sitting where they are today. Rarely does a team change fortunes so drastically in the same season. Imagine if Karl were coaching the entire season. Could the Nuggets be the best team in the league?
While they may not win the NBA Championship due to what could be a tough road, they are a dangerous team. The San Antonio Spurs and Seattle Supersonics and Phoenix Suns still have the top spots in the west, and Denver will have to be playing on the road for at least two games in each series. Karl though has lit a fire under the team.
So how is he doing it? He has made a connection with the team. He is having fun while coaching and getting his players to give their all. It is evident he can have a laugh with the guys as for one game, instead of the traditional suit for a coach; he wore a throwback jersey with his team. Any coach who has the nerves to wear such an ugly jersey definitely knows how to have a good time and still get his job done.
While some may look down south to Miami and reward a coach there for having the most dominant player in recent years playing with one of the new up and coming stars, I am a firm believer that the coach who has gotten the best response from his players should be the hands down choice for NBA Coach of the Year.