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Engelmann: Stotts Among Top Coach of the Year Candidates

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Jeremias Engelmann of ESPN.com picks his top five candidates deserving of the Red Auerbach Trophy.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts sees his team currently at No. 3 in the Western Conference, turning it on after a so-so beginning to the season. In spite of the fact that there is likely to be 10 or more head coaching jobs available in the NBA this coming offseason, the 2017-18 season has had more than its fair share of excellent coaching performances.

Jeremias Engelmann of ESPN.com has winnowed the field down to his top five candidates for the National Basketball Association’s Coach of the Year. Engelmann groups Stotts with Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens:

Stotts, meanwhile, has led the Blazers to third place in the West, quite unexpectedly. In contrast to Stevens, though, Stotts has had a healthy team.

We could cite a bit of luck in both cases. When we look at expected wins, based on scoring margin, the Celtics have won five more games than expected, and the Blazers two. Of course, there are many reasons for winning close games, but the most consistent factor is good luck. Still, Stevens and Stotts have to rate near the top of the COY list.

Not exactly glowing praise for Coach Stotts, but as they say, it is an honor just to be nominated.

Stotts may have his work cut out for him over the remaining four games with Damian Lillard likely to miss at least a game or two. Still, the Blazers have a 5-3 record when their superstar doesn’t play, a testament to the job Stotts has done this year. Perhaps a strong finish to the year, possibly without Lillard, might improve Coach Stotts’ chances.

Read the full article to find out the other coaches in Engelmann’s top five and who he ultimately picked as most deserving for the award.