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Fan Question: Will Scott Brooks Win 2012 NBA Coach of the Year?
Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks should be considered for the NBA's Coach of the Year. The award has been given annually since 1963 when Harry Gallatin of the St. Louis Hawks won for his team's 48-32 record. Gallatin's team finished with a great record despite finishing last in the NBA in points per game.
Brooks has a good case for coach of the year even though his team has steadily improved. The Thunder expected to be contenders this season. Yet OKC has handled the pressure of a lockout-shortened season better than most teams. Injuries have been kept to a minimum. Role players have stepped up in different games to provide needed lift to the Thunder when they struggle. Brooks has had good problems to balance with superstars getting more playing time in clutch games to recalling personnel from the D-League Tulsa 66ers.
The Thunder have avoided long losing streaks and are the NBA's second-best team at 37-12. Only the Chicago Bulls own a better record. The Thunder play Chicago in early April. There have been bad losses already this season. The Washington Wizards stunned OKC early in the season. The Cleveland Cavaliers also won in Chesapeake Energy Arena, something only four teams have done in the 2011-2012 season.
Brooks is also a relatively young coach. He's had a great staff since the team moved from Seattle and the team has steadily gotten better. The Thunder moved from an eight seed in the 2010 NBA Playoffs to a four seed last year. Now they are competing for the top overall seed in the NBA postseason.
There are two things working against Brooks. First is that the Thunder aren't surprising anyone. They are expected to be playoff contenders. Second is that Brooks won the award after the 2009-2010 season. Only one coach, Don Nelson of the Milwaukee Bucks, has won the NBA Coach of the Year twice in three years. That was in the early to mid-1980s. Brooks already won the award recently and his chances are probably slim.
The likely coach of the year will be Mike Brown, currently of the Los Angeles Lakers. He won the award after the 2008-2009 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Brown took over a squad after legendary coach Phil Jackson retired. The Lakers had a horrendous start but are now atop the Pacific Division.
William Browning has been a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder ever since the team relocated from Seattle. As the closest NBA team to Branson, Mo., the Thunder serve as the regional team for southwest Missouri.
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