Hot Seat
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

Every season, fans critique coaching hires and coaching fires. We all have our thoughts and opinions on who doesn’t deserve the positions they land. What makes me laugh is that there are always coaches who enter the season on the hot seat, always seeming to fail fans expectations on the upcoming season, and it hasn’t even started. Well, I’ll play along. Here are the top 5 coaches who enter the 2019 season on the hot seat.

#5: Brett Brown

Philadelphia 76ers fans are going to hate this, but here it comes. I firmly believe that Brett Brown is entering a make or break year. They have stuck with him through thick and literal thin, and they now have assembled their greatest roster while having him as head coach. There is a lot that goes into the success of this 76ers squad: can Ben Simmons ever hit a jump shot? Can Joel Embiid stay healthy for more than 65 games in a year? How does Brown handle so many tall players on the roster? I know that if they were going to fire him, they would have during the years when they were god awful. But this is their best shot at getting out of the Eastern Conference. If they don’t, don’t be surprised if they make a move in the offseason.

#4: Scott Brooks

I’ll give Scott Brooks the benefit of the doubt. The front office for the Washington Wizards haven’t done him much favors when it comes to building a roster. But at some point, you have to show your coaching abilities and be able to gameplan for a win. But on the other side of this coin, he didn’t have to do much coaching in Oklahoma City when he had two of the top 5 players in the world on his roster in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. John Wall will probably miss most of the season, but what makes matters worse is Scott Brooks is spoiling the potential of one Bradley Beal. They finally started to make some decent roster moves in the draft this year, landing Rui Hachimura at pick 9 and trading for Admiral Schofield in the second round, both guys im a big fan of. But will they be game-changers for this Wizards squad and keep Brooks off the hot seat? It remains to be seen.

#3: Billy Donovan

I went back and forth on Billy Dovonan being on this list, but in reality, he has greatly underachieved at the coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder. In his 4 years as coach of the Thunder, he is 199-129. On paper that doesn’t look terrible, but a 60% win percentage doesn’t sound great when you remember he also had Russell Westbrook, who we will remind you isn’t as good as fans think he is. He had a talented squad and couldn’t make it out of the second round of the playoffs and lost in the first round twice. I understand he is facing a rebuild with a washed-up, always been overrated Chris Paul as his leader, but he just isn’t the future for this team, and is rightly on the hot seat entering this year.

#2: Doc Rivers

Man, if Brett Brown being on this list for coaches on the hot seat didn’t cause a stir, this certainly will. I am well aware that Doc Rivers is a champion, a part manager of the Clippers and a hell of a coach. But let’s face facts here. He could not win with the “Lob City” teams, he ran Chris Paul and Blake Griffin out of Los Angeles, and his playoff record at 20-26 as coach of the Clippers. How his he the guy? This is without a doubt the best team he has ever coached going into this season. And expectations are sky-high, many people taking this Clippers team to come out of the Western Conference and likely win it all. But what happens if they don’t? What happens if Doc Rivers pulls a Doc Rivers and cant coach his team past the second round of a playoff series? Who does the blame fall on then? Pressure makes diamonds, and for Doc Rivers’s sake he better hope the Staples Center turns into a Kay Jewelers.

#1: Frank Vogel

Let’s keep things in Los Angeles, shall we? You all knew who the number one slot was going to be taken by. Frank Vogel is a joke, and didn’t deserve the spot as Lakers coach, to begin with. But let’s be honest: Frank Vogel is not the head coach, Lebron James is. Vogel is just there to take the blame for any Laker’s shortcomings they face this year. Which spoiler alert, they will. But any praise? He won’t see any of that, it will be going to Lebron. I do think Frank Vogel has one shot at this, and anything less than probably Conference Final berth this year for the Los Angeles Lakers, and fans will want his head, and rightfully so. If you look up hot seat in the dictionary, the picture you would see is Frank Vogel, and of discussion.

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