During the inaugural NBA Awards broadcast June 26, Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni won the Coach of the Year award, beating finalists Erik Spoelstra and Gregg Popovich.
Coach of the Year goes to ... Mike D'Antoni.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 27, 2017
I'd bet even Spo doesn't think you should win Coach of the Year when your team misses the playoffs— Adam Kuperstein (@AKuperstein) June 27, 2017
Spo was 2nd in coach of year ballotting just released. 9 first-place votes. D'Antoni won it with 68 first place votes in media voting.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) June 27, 2017
The decision comes as no surprise; Spoelstra’s chances would have improved had the Heat actually made the playoffs. D’Antoni’s Rockets won 55 games games during the 2016-17 season, a vast improvement over their 41-41 finish in 2015-16. For all the criticism he’s gotten over the years (and the bad jobs he’s taken with the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers), D’Antoni’s style has transformed the NBA. It’s how a player like James Harden averaged 11 assists per game this year, far surpassing his previous assist averages.
Miami also had a few other players up for consideration during the Awards night.
Haslem third in teammate of year voting, behind Dirk and Tyson Chandler— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) June 27, 2017
James Johnson was 6th, Dion Waiters 11th, Hassan Whiteside tied for 20th in Most Improved Player voting.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 27, 2017