16 groups made the NBA Playoffs. Does that imply its affordable to imagine 16 head coaches are protected bets to maintain their jobs subsequent season? Not fairly. It’s one factor to get to the postseason, however for some coaches, they should show within the subsequent few weeks that they not solely inherited expertise, however molded it right into a winner.
That is the precarious place that Philadelphia’s Brett Brown and Oklahoma Metropolis’s Billy Donovan discover themselves within the first spherical. The Sixers regarded distracted (actually with cellphones) in a 111-102 dwelling loss to the Nets Saturday, whereas the Thunder dropped a 104-99 determination at Portland Sunday.
Earlier than each enter their respective Sport Two’s, let’s have a look at native and nationwide opinion to see how sizzling their seats are.
Brett Brown Scorching Seat & Job Safety with Sixers
It’s not even 100 % clear that Brown is totally supported by his personal boss. Philadelphia co-owner Josh Harris have a really non-committal reply on Brown’s future earlier than Sport One.
“He’s our coach going into the playoffs,” Harris stated to South Jersey Sports activities. “We’re supportive of Brett. We expect he’s the suitable chief to take us the place we have to go within the playoffs. I’m targeted on the Brooklyn Nets, and he’s targeted on the Brooklyn Nets.”
Harris went additional by saying that he expects a deep playoff run, presumably one which sees the Sixers make it additional than final 12 months’s Jap Convention semifinals. Proper now, Philadelphia is behind the 8-ball with a 1-Zero deficit towards the No. 6 seeded Nets.
One of many points is that the window is closing for this franchise. Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick are anticipated to be on the free agent market. It’s unlikely that the trio, who value a mixed $46 million a 12 months (roughly per Spotrac), will all be again.
If Brown can’t do it this 12 months, will Harris and the Sixers mind belief actually belief him to get it finished with much less components? Proper now, Amir Johnson and Joel Embiid are checking their telephones as a substitute of totally specializing in a playoff run.
Even with the required expertise, Brown is just not getting the job finished, and may very well be seeing a pink slip quickly.
Billy Donovan Scorching Seat & Job Safety with Thunder
After final 12 months’s first-round loss to the Utah Jazz, Thunder normal supervisor Sam Presti confirmed that Donovan can be again. The actual fact he wanted to try this, contemplating that Oklahoma Metropolis possesses two All-Stars in Russell Westbrook and Paul George, speaks volumes about Donovan’s job safety.
Previous to the All-Star break, the Thunder had been third within the Western Convention with a 37-20 file however fell so far as eighth place earlier than nabbing the No. 6 seed within the remaining week. This current lull has folks like Cody Taylor at Thunders Wire saying that “the way forward for Donovan in Oklahoma Metropolis may very nicely be determined by how far the crew advances within the postseason this 12 months.”
Donovan was additionally rumored for the UCLA teaching place that ultimately went to Mick Cronin, so rumbles about his future in OKC have been ongoing for months. The ultimate straw can be a second-straight early exit.
Happily, the Thunder dominated the season collection with the Path Blazers, sweeping all four regular-season video games. Regardless of a 1-Zero deficit, there’s nonetheless room to get better and advance to presumably play the Rockets.
A loss there isn’t deadly, however one this week to Portland may very well be an excessive amount of for Presti to disregard.