Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named the NBA's coach of the year Tuesday, with the Bobcats' own Steve Clifford earning fourth place in the voting. Popovich is commonly acknowledged as the best coach in the NBA and he deservedly won this year's award. The Spurs finished the season with the best record in the NBA at 62-20.
While it's hard to argue against Pop, a handful out there thought Bobcats coach Steve Clifford should have been coach of the year as Clifford received 8 first place votes, 21 second place votes, and 24 third place votes leaving him with 127 points and 4th place overall. Clifford finished behind the Suns Jeff Hornacek and the Bulls Tom Thibodeau.
Any praise that Steve Clifford has received this season is well-deserved. The Bobcats finished in the bottom 5 of the NBA in both defense and offense last season. They were dead last in both areas the year before that. Clifford took a largely similar roster, plus Al Jefferson, and turned it into a top-eight defense.
Most didn't expect such a stunning immediate turnaround from the Bobcats, especially on the defensive side of the ball. You can credit almost all of that to Clifford. He's been one of the top coaches in the NBA this season and is worthy of any votes he received, though he couldn't really care less about media accolades. Regardless, it's just nice to see his achievements acknowledged in some way. The way he's helped manage the team so well has been prudent to their success now and in the future.