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Thibodeau Squeaks Past Williams for 2021 NBA Coach of the Year

Tom Thibodeau scraped in to win the NBA’s best coach after returning the New York Knicks to the playoffs.

New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks - Game Four Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

New York Knicks Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has edged out the Phoenix Suns’ Monty Willliams to take the NBA’s 2020-21 Coach of the Year prize.

This is Thibodeau’s second COTY award after earning the honor during his first season with the Chicago Bulls a decade ago.

Williams actually earned more first and third place votes than Thibodeau, however the Knicks coach tallied more overall points (351 to 340) after getting more second-place nominations.

The Knicks finished fourth in NBA’s Eastern Conference with a record of 41-31 — an improvement on their 12th place, 21-45 record one year ago. They ended the regular season with the same record as the Atlanta Hawks who ousted them in the first round of the playoffs.

Former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan came in fifth with 12 votes (all third place) after taking over from Lloyd Pierce as the Hawks’ head man mid season.

Quin Snyder (Utah Jazz), Doc Rivers (Philadelphia 76ers), Steve Nash (Brooklyn Nets) and Michael Malone (Denver Nuggets) also received votes.