With the NBA season nearing its end, there have been many teams across the league who have surprised, but also many that have disappointed the NBA world. Some of those teams who have disappointed, could be seeing a coaching change at year’s end. Here are five NBA head coaches who could be on the hot seat as the NBA season comes to a close.
NBA Head Coaches on the Hot Seat
The 2016-17 Chicago Bulls have been a shell of themselves. Despite acquiring Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo and Robin Lopez, they have been unable to compete in the Eastern Conference. Recording just a 32-37 record 69 games into the year, the Bulls have been one of the most dissapointing teams in the NBA. Head coach Fred Hoiberg is part to blame for those struggles.
Hoiberg’s style of play has been unsuccessful in the Windy City.
Last year, Hoiberg was unable to lead the Bulls back to playoffs after being the two seed in the Eastern Conference the year before, with former head coach Tom Thibodeau. Despite Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler‘s best efforts, the Bulls were unable to crack the playoffs. That then lead Gar Forman and the Bulls to go out and make some changes in the offseason (Wade, Rondo, Lopez). It hasn’t worked out though.
The Bulls have dealt with drama both on and off the court. On the court, Rajon Rondo was benched in favor of Michael Carter-Williams due to Rondo and Fred Hoiberg not seeing eye to eye. Rondo also criticized Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade for being bad leaders, after going to the media to address an issue, rather than keeping it internal. Rondo expressed his thoughts very thoroughly in an Instagram post.
All around, it’s been chaotic year for the Chicago Bulls, and considering the team’s inability to coexist with one another, Hoiberg could be without a job at year’s end.
The 2016-17 New Orleans Pelicans have had an odd season. Superstar big man Anthony Davis has done his thing, serving as a threat on both ends of the floor, and point guard Jrue Holiday has been a consistent and reliable scoring option as well. Free agent acquisitions Langston Galloway, Solomon Hill and E’Twaun Moore have not produced all too well though, as neither have been able to produce with any consistency on the offensive end; however, the Pelicans made a move which they thought would be a jump start for themselves, as well as a potential playoff run.
At the trade deadline, the Pelicans pulled off the blockbuster of the year, trading for Sacramento Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. Giving up a small asking price of rookie guard Buddy Hield, forward Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, as well as a few draft picks, the Pelicans were able to snatch the game’s most talented center to pair with Anthony Davis; however, despite his superstar talent, the Pelicans have been unable to make a run at the playoffs.
Ever since acquiring Cousins, the Pelicans have gone just 5-7. Being that the addition of Cousins hasn’t helped the Pelicans’ playoff aspirations, head coach Alvin Gentry could get the boot at season’s end.
Gentry is in the second year of his tenure as head coach of the Pelicans, but in his time there the team has been underwhelming. After making the playoffs in 2015, the Pelicans won just 30 games in the 2015-16 season. That made many wonder whether Gentry could be the problem? Gentry’s struggles this year only strengthen that case.
If the Pelicans fail to reach the postseason yet again, chances are Alvin Gentry could be on the out’s.
At first glance, firing or getting rid of Milwaukee Bucks’ had coach Jason Kidd seems like a stretch; however, when you look at the Bucks failures in his tenure with the franchise, his position could very well be for the taking.
In his first year with the team, Jason Kidd was unable to lead the young, inexperienced Bucks to the playoffs. Given that his squad was young and inexperienced, Kidd got a pass. Then, in the 2014-15 season, Kidd led the Bucks to the postseason.
By grabbing the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Bucks young core finally cracked the playoffs under Kidd. It was a positive sign for the franchise. Reaching the playoffs without rookie forward Jabari Parker (who suffered a torn ACL) also made it an impressive feat.
Despite being knocked out in the first round by the Chicago Bulls, the Bucks took them to six games and played hard. After a successful season, the Bucks then went into the offseason with the intention of adding onto their young core. They did so by inking Pistons big man Greg Monroe on a four year deal.
In his time with the Pistons, Monroe was a post presence and a double double threat whenever he stepped on the court; however, his reliable post game didn’t lift the Bucks play.
Despite the addition of Monroe, and the return of Jabari Parker, the Bucks were unable to make it back to the playoffs. Winning just 30 games, the Bucks were the mystery of the 2015-16 season, as many expected them to make a jump in the standings after a successful 2014-15 year.
Then after their rough 2015-16 season, the Bucks made two shrewd moves in the offseason to help add some depth and perimeter shooting to their roster.
The Bucks brought in Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova and Suns forward Mirza Teletovic. Both Dellavedova and Teletovic are known for their ability to play beyond the three point line. Being that the Bucks core isn’t lethal out on the perimeter, getting some perimeter help was the appropriate course of action. That perimeter shooting has helped lift the Bucks a bit in their 2017 efforts.
The Bucks appear to be in a better place at the moment, as they’re holding onto the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Their roster though has foreseen two key lineup changes.
Back in February, Jabari Parker re-tore his ACL. Parker’s unfortunate injury was a major disappointment as he was really beginning to come into his own. As a result, he’ll miss a significant amount of time, possibly part of next season. His injury is a devastating blow for the Bucks; however, they were aided a bit by the return of shooting guard Khris Middleton.
Middleton returned just a few weeks ago, and has been a go-to scoring option for the Bucks. Averaging 15.2 points a game, and also shooting 42.9 percent from the outside, Middleton has been an asset for the Bucks; however, despite his efforts, the Bucks .500 record has them just a game and a half up on the ninth seeded Detroit Pistons.
The Bucks ability to hold onto that playoff spot will be very telling in regards to how good they truly are at the moment. If they do happen to blow their playoff spot though, head coach Jason Kidd’s ability to progress this franchise could very well come into question, potentially leading to him being relieved of his coaching duties.