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Odds Suggest Mike D’Antoni’s Job is in Jeopardy

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Updated Apr 2, 2020 · 3:29 PM PDT

James Harden
James Harden and the Houston Rockets have been terrible to start the season. Is it enough to cost head coach Mike D'Antoni his job? (Photo by David Santiago/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
  • Is the Rockets head coach really on the hot seat?
  • Wizards bench boss Scott Brooks is staying alive
  • Which coach odds of getting fired offers the most value?

Less than 20 games into the season, there’s already some fresh meat on the list of NBA coaches favored to get fired next.

The usual suspects still remain: Scott Brooks is still trying to stay afloat in DC, while Luke Walton is finding it difficult to guide his Lakers forward while always having to look over his shoulder to see if Magic Johnson is watching.

But what’s interesting is the appearance of a couple of head coaches who are guiding teams that are considered contenders to the NBA title.

Have a look, and let’s discuss.

Which NBA Head Coach Will Be Fired Next?

Head Coach Team 2018-19 Record Odds
Scott Brooks Wizards 6-11 EVEN
Luke Walton Lakers 10-7 +200
Tom Thibodeau Timberwolves 7-11 +500
Fred Hoiberg Bulls 5-13 +700
Mike D’Antoni Rockets 9-7 +1000
Brett Brown 76ers 13-7 +1000

Rockets Struggles Put D’Antoni on Alert

Just seven months ago, D’Antoni had Houston in position to take down the eventual NBA Champion-Warriors, when injury and an awful cold streak did them in.

This year, poor roster construction and a generally sluggish start to the year had critics wondering if this was the hangover from such a letdown. 

There was also the added Carmelo Anthony trauma, as the Rockets couldn’t incorporate an all-time top-20 scorer into their lineup. 

What’s concerning is the sputtering offense, which should be his calling card. Houston is outside the top 20 in points scored, while they were second a year ago.

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Meanwhile, they are again league leaders in three-point attempts per game, at just under 42 jacks. But they’ve plummeted from top 15 in percentage all the way down to 23rd. 

Brett Brown May Be Hampering the Process

The lovable loser part of the Philadelphia 76ers process is done now. And with the acquisition of Jimmy Butler, it’s all systems go for a shot at the title.

After suffering a loss in their first game following the mega deal, the Sixers have reeled off four straight wins.

Prior to the deal, head coach Brett Brown was facing criticism for his lack of creativity in utilizing both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons on offense. His own players still aren’t impressed in other facets of his decisions, either.

Also, he hasn’t been able to get anything out of No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz. Unless you count fan sadness at watching someone play with real live yips.


Thank goodness Butler arrived when he did. The All-Star wing should mask much of the issues, including a scorer in the clutch to take pressure of an absolutely dominant Embiid.

We’ll see if that gives Brown the time he needs to maximize his star players’ talents come playoff time.

The Pick

If you’re looking for value, stay away from Brown, who should be all right.

Look to D’Antoni, who’s a losing streak away from Houston management pulling the trigger to try and save what could be a lost season – particularly one where the Warriors look as beatable as any time in their dynastic run.

But the winner here is still Scott Brooks. A team with the talent the Wizards possess should not be 6-11, with horrendous chemistry, bad attitudes, and an unwillingness to consistently play hard and defend.

They are third last in points allowed in the NBA, surrendering over 116 a game. They are third worst in defending the arc, as teams are shooting 38.1% from deep, and sixth worst in field goal percentage allowed.

This recipe should not go on much longer in DC.

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