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NBA Hot Seat: Scott Brooks is Feeling the Heat After Wizards Acquire Dwight Howard

Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks calls the shots from the sideline.
Scott Brooks' job could be in jeopardy after last year's underwhelming finish. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]
  • Scott Brooks is on the hot seat after the Wizards’ disappointing playoff exit. How short is his leash? 
  • Can Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum save Terry Stotts’ job?
  • Is it time for Fred Hoiberg to book a U-Haul van?  

Scott Brooks might want to consider reaching out to his real estate agent ASAP.

MyBookie has released odds for the first NBA head coach to be fired during the 2018-19 season and Brooks leads the pack at +300.

Coach MyBookie Odds
Scott Brooks (Wizards) +300
Terry Stotts (Trail Blazers) +400
Fred Hoiberg (Bulls) +500
Kenny Atkinson (Nets) +500
Dave Joerger (Kings) +600
Doc Rivers (Clippers) +700
Tyronn Lue (Cavaliers) +950
Michael Malone (Nuggets) +1500
Nate McMillan (Pacers) +1500
Alvin Gentry (Pelicans) +1500
Billy Donovan (Thunder) +1500

Brooks’ short odds are due to a number of factors, but it’s fascinating that he finds himself atop the list less than 24 hours after the Wizards agreed to terms with Dwight Howard.

The mercurial big man has earned a reputation for being a “coach killer” after using his influence to ouster Stan Van Gundy in Orlando, Mike Brown in Los Angeles, and Kevin McHale in Houston. Howard is still a tremendous talent when fully engaged, but there’s a reason why he’s been passed around like a hot potato over the past four years.

Brooks’ ability to keep Howard happy will go a long way in securing his job, but he also has to prove his tactical skills are up to snuff. The former point guard was thoroughly outcoached by Dwane Casey during the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, and has a troubling habit of coming up short during crunch time. That was especially evident last season, as the Wizards won just 45% of games determined by three points or less.

The Wizards won just 45% of games determined by three points or less in 2017-18.

Brooks is still one of the most likeable figures in the league, but the Wizards won’t advance to the NBA Finals until his late game management skills are on par with his player development skills.

Joining Brooks atop MyBookie’s list are Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and Bulls bench boss Fred Hoiberg. Like Brooks, Stotts was also exposed in the 2018 postseason, as Portland was swept by New Orleans in the first round. The Blazers were unable to keep up with the Pelicans’ frenetic pace and, frankly, may still be suffering from a collective case of whiplash.

Hoiberg, meanwhile, has been the source of countless rumors since taking over the Bulls in 2015. The 45-year-old Nebraska native has compiled a dismal 110-136 record in his three seasons in the Windy City and scraped together just 27 wins last year. He’ll be expected to put up or shut up this season now that the Bulls finally have some NBA-ready talent.

MyBookie is only accepting wagers on this prop until July 10th at 12:00 a.m., so place your bet while you still can.

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Ryan Murphy began his love affair with sports journalism at the age of nine when he wrote his first article about his little league baseball team. He has since authored his own column for Fox Sports, and now serves as SBD’s resident NBA and MLB expert.