By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey may not have a job in a few weeks, but he’s expected to win the NBA’s Coach of the Year award after guiding the Raptors to the 1-seed in the Eastern Conference.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens certainly made a strong case given Boston’s success throughout a slew of injuries to key players during the season, but we’ll see how the NBA media feels in June. As for how fellow NBA coaches feel about the race, they’ve picked Casey.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, NBA coaches voted Casey as their “Coach of the Year” in the lesser-known annual award. It’s not all that surprising, until you see who received votes — or rather, who didn’t:
Casey is also regarded as a top contender for the N.B.A.’s Coach of the Year award and, according to the people with knowledge of the voting for the N.B.C.A. award, was one of just eight coaches to receive votes in the balloting. The other seven coaches to receive votes from their peers were Philadelphia’s Brett Brown, Houston’s Mike D’Antoni, Indiana’s Nate McMillan, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, Utah’s Quin Snyder, Portland’s Terry Stotts and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers.
Yes, you read that right. Of the 29 other coaches in the NBA, none of them thought Brad Stevens deserved to be named their Coach of the Year. Someone even gave a nod to Doc Rivers, whose Clippers nearly imploded this season.
Stevens, of course, was as humble as ever when asked about the voting ahead of Wednesday night’s Game 5.
“All the other stuff, like the coaching votes and everything else, the way that thing works is you get one vote. And, I’m telling you, I looked down the sheet and there’s no way that I would have voted for me over any of the other 29 people and the guy that should have won got it,” he said of Casey. “And those other guys that get votes, they’re unbelievable. I’m stealing from those guys all the time.
“It’s so incredible to have an opportunity to be one of 30, and I think it’s a lot more important to just focus on competing with your team rather than trying to compare yourself to others. Because I’m telling you if it gets to be a comparison contest, I’m screwed,” he added.
It’s not worth getting angry if Stevens doesn’t win Coach of the Year. While it would be a nice accolade for his efforts, it’s just a small award on the grand scheme of things. However, not getting a single vote for those efforts is laughable.
Maybe coaches are just sick of hearing about Brad’s genius on a nightly basis, or maybe they’re sick of him beating them with half a roster. They certainly have no issue taking from his ATO playbook, and Stevens has even received praise from several opposing coaches — including Popovich, the grand poobah of NBA coaching. Unfortunately, it looks like that may just be lip service when they get in front of the microphone.
We’ll see how the media feels about Boston’s boy wonder when the real Coach of the Year award is given out on June 25. Chances are Casey will win that one too, but maybe Stevens will at least get a vote or two next time around.