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NBA coaches: Which head coach will be fired first?

It's been a while since an NBA coach was fired, but that could change in the upcoming season if a few of them don't up their game.

Here’s a fact that not many NBA fans knew about: No NBA head coaches were fired for the first time in 46 years this past season. Yet, only four active NBA coaches have been in their current position for at least five years: Gregg Popovich, Rick Carlisle, Dwane Casey, and Erik Spoelstra. Three of those four have won championship rings as a head coach, Casey being the odd one out.

Could the 2017/18 NBA season see the coaching merry-go-round pick up some steam? If so, here are five candidates that could find their positions are in jeopardy if the season ahead isn’t deemed a success.

Jeff Hornacek

While it’s harsh to suggest that Hornacek is solely responsible for the Knicks’ problems, New York’s future isn’t bright with him at the helm. Without Phil Jackson keeping a watchful eye on both the organization and the team itself, Hornacek’s job could be at risk if the Knicks don’t find any success this season, as is becoming the norm for them.

The Knicks possess one of the most talented up-and-coming players in the league in Kristaps Porzingis, and a great scorer in Carmelo Anthony, along with other valuable pieces on the floor. They have the chance to either rebuild or keep on trying to find a stable asset on the floor that will lead them to success. Frankly, Hornacek doesn’t seem like he’ll be able to do the latter, while this offseason’s events suggest the Knicks aren’t any closer to achieving the former.

Dwane Casey

Casey is regarded as a defensive specialist, yet the Raptors rear guard has had its ups and downs under him. When the Raptors have a reliable defense, they are one of the most efficient teams in the league. However, they look lost when their defense is anything but perfect, and losing P.J. Tucker, Patrick Patterson and Cory Joseph could mean the Raptors are headed into another tough season. If that turns out to be the case, Toronto could possibly consider a coaching swap in order to finally get past the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.

Fred Hoiberg

It was difficult putting Hoiberg’s name on the list since the Bulls are moving into a rebuilding stage. However, that didn’t necessarily have to be the case. Hoiberg was dealt a team with some pretty solid players and found no success.  Although success is by no means expected now that the team has begun rebuilding after such a disastrous waste of talent, replacing Hoiberg with a coach who can more successfully take a new and improved Bulls team into a brighter future could be the smart move.

Steve Clifford

Clifford’s Hornets are an exciting team to watch, yes, and adding Dwight Howard has the capability to give them a much-needed jump start on the boards, scoreboard and in defense. Yet, the Hornets have had troubles finishing games in crunch time, recording the second lowest defensive rating in those crucial closing minutes of games; only the Lakers performed worse in that department this past season. If the Hornets don’t show signs of improvement this year and miss the playoffs again, there is a chance that a new coach could be on the agenda.

Alvin Gentry

Gentry, an offensive specialist, has been given two of the best big men in the NBA today in Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Regardless of this fact, the Pelicans have found minimal success under Gentry’s tutelage. With such a dominant frontcourt, perhaps a coach more capable of running a big man-dominated system would be a better fit. If results don’t improve in 2017/18, Gentry may well be in the firing line.

Which of these coaches – or others – do you thing have the least job security? Comment below!

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Trevor Wajs

A grade 12 student in Toronto, Canada. Devoted basketball fan and analyst.

NBA coaches: Which head coach will be fired first?

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