Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 1/9/13
We are almost to the halfway point of the NBA season. It is not too early to start thinking about who’s making a case for postseason awards. When looking at candidates for coach of the year, I think the best gauge is to see who exceeded expectations. Who got their team playing at a higher level than you would have guessed? Who pulled a bunch of mismatched guys together to create a true team? Who is the real Gordon Bombay? (If you get that reference, we can be friends) A couple Portland Trail Blazers players think their coach, Terry Stotts, deserves to be in the discussion. Rookie Damian Lillard says Stotts is doing a great job of taking the Blazers past people’s expectations. "I definitely think he is [an early Coach of the Year candidate] because of the way he handles our team," Lillard said. "What everybody expected from us, it wasn't this. I can remember when people were saying 'We don't expect much' and 'It's going to be a rough year,' and in my head, I believed in our team and he did, too. As long as we continue on the same road as we are now, I think it's definitely a possibility he could win the award." LaMarcus Aldridge also thinks his coach is worthy of the honor. "I would definitely say he should be Coach of the Year right now," Aldridge said. "I think he has taken a bunch of pieces and he's meshed them together to put us in position to win every night and to put us in position to be in the playoffs right now. So he definitely deserves to be recognized for what he's done." The Blazers are 19-15, good enough for the seventh seed in the Western Conference. While I do think Stotts has his team higher in the standings than most would have guessed, I think there are other coaches who deserve more recognition. My top candidate would be Mike Woodson, head coach of the New York Knicks. Who thought the Knicks would be 23-11 and challenging the Heat for the top spot in the East? Woodson finally has that team playing to their potential and he deserves to be acknowledged for that. Right behind him would be Vinny Del Negro. I know it is kind of a cop out to pick the coaches of two of the top teams in the NBA, but, honestly, who thought the Knicks and Clippers would be competing for conference titles? Other top candidates would be Kevin McHale in Houston, Larry Drew in Atlanta and maybe even Mark Jackson in Golden State. All these guys are leading their teams past what people expected of them before the season started. There is still a lot of basketball left to be played, so a true frontrunner for coach of the year could emerge before the end of the season. For now, there are a lot of good choices out there. It’s hard to pick just one. Image: CSNNW [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker