The 2013-14 season is 22 days old, but that doesn’t stop the rumors of head coaches on the hot seat already.
By this time last season, only Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers had been fired, after only five games, and the next firing took place on Dec. 27 with the Brooklyn Nets and Avery Johnson. For reasons mainly of falling below expectations and/or continuing down the tanking road, there are three teams who may see a change at the top of the coaching chain.
Randy Wittman: Washington Wizards (3-7)
Designated in the preseason as one of the lottery teams that can make a run at a playoff spot in the East, the Wizards are currently in 12th place in the conference. The team reportedly will give Wittman some more time to work out the plenty of kinks on the team, believing that the team will still make the playoffs.
The majority of their games have been on the road against some of the tougher teams out west such as the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, which may explain why Wittman has a little more time than the other candidates listed here. He has a young backcourt with huge potential in John Wall and Bradley Beal, and an experienced frontcourt with Nene and Marcin Gortat, so if they continue to struggle in the East, it may be time to shake up the coaching tree.
Tyrone Corbin: Utah Jazz (1-11)
Corbin is probably the easiest target among this list because the Utah Jazz is in #TankForWiggins mode and can use the excuse of firing Corbin to better the team’s chances at getting the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. He’s in the last year of his contract with the team and has the worst record in the league to show for this season.
Despite his criticism as a subpar head coach, some benefit of the doubt should be given to him considering the team hasn’t had a solid point guard at all this season, since rookie Trey Burke still hasn’t made his NBA debut due to a broken finger. His underachievement began ever since he took over for Jerry Sloan after he resigned in February 2011. But even if he continues to leave the front office unimpressed, perhaps that’s enough to keep him around for the season, as they prepare for next summer.
Mike Woodson: New York Knicks (3-7)
The term “hot seat” has been dodged by Woodson and the rest of the Knicks, but they all know it will be coming soon if there’s no change in results soon. The Knicks are currently second to last in the Eastern Conference, only ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks, and apparently Woodson is being put under pressure by the front office to make changes in the starting lineup.
The team already appears to be somewhat in a panic, already placing Iman Shumpert on the trading block and wanting to talk deals for players like Kenneth Faried and Rajon Rondo, just looking to make any sort of splash to see if anything new will work. While the team does well with Carmelo Anthony playing the power forward spot in small ball, the team insists on keeping him at the small forward and hoping that the Andrea Bargnani and Kenyon Martin duo will work up front. Signs point to this not ending well, so keep an eye on Woodson as this season progresses.
Jason Kidd: Brooklyn Nets (3-7)
It’s a battle in New York state to see which coach can last longer with his respective team. And right now, it’s tough to say who has the upper hand. The disadvantages of Kidd is that he’s a first-year head coach who is falling well below expectations so far this season, considering each starter had all-star potential to start this season.
One huge knock against Kidd that may appear more often is a scout reporting that Kidd doesn’t really do anything as a head coach, as he leaves the offense to John Welch and the defense to Lawrence Frank. Take into account that no one outside of Brook Lopez is shooting at 42 percent or higher on field goals and that combination doesn’t bode well for the rookie head coach.