Where does Nick Nurse rank among NBA coaches?

Toronto Raptors - Nick Nurse (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Nick Nurse (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Dwane Casey and Nick Nurse (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Dwane Casey and Nick Nurse (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

The “Are We Sure These Guys Belong?” Tier:

  • Dwane Casey – Detroit Pistons
  • Alvin Gentry – New Orleans Pelicans
  • Billy Donovan – OKC Thunder
  • Scott Brooks – Washington Wizards

These coaches are all on the hot seat for numerous reasons. Some will certainly survive the upcoming season, but, as much as it pains me to say, these coaches just haven’t had the skill or luck to keep themselves in the NBA much longer.

If the first-round series against the Bucks was any measure, Casey would be out in Detroit. Yes, Blake Griffin was injured, but they just looked horrendously out-coached and outplayed. Although he led the Raptors for numerous years, he never could make the necessary changes with his personnel to compete in the playoffs. And, it just seems that he never will.

Gentry has had a whirlwind of a tenure in New Orleans–but he’s been bailed out by a powerhouse front office with David Griffin at the helm. Now, he has the opportunity to retool his own career while simultaneously building a developing roster. If he succeeds, he stays. If he fails, well, you know what’ll happen.

Donovan and Brooks oddly have a similar fault: They couldn’t win a championship with the Thunder. Donovan is under fire and, if he can’t develop the team, then he’ll surely be on his way back to the college coaching ranks, where he endured immense success.

Brooks, likewise, has his own roster problems and a changing front office. Surely, he’ll have to stay competitive or show signs of massive development in his players to prove his worth to a front office that didn’t choose him to head the team.

These coaches will all be good bets for the first coach fired in the league in the upcoming season. While it’s not entirely their fault, they’ve been handed the keys to a flame-embroiled car barreling towards a cliff.