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2023-24 NBA Season Preview | Head Coaching Changes

2023-24 NBA Head Coaching Changes

Normally during each offseason, you can count on the bottom-feeders of the league making coaching changes to try and alter their future. But heading into the 2023-24 NBA season, some of the league’s best teams and championship hopefuls have made coaching changes. Milwaukee and Mike Budenholzer went their separate ways after the Bucks earned the No. 1 seed in the East last season. Monty Williams won 62-percent of his regular season games in Phoenix, but the Suns failed to achieve similar success in the playoffs. How will these controversial moves shake out? Let’s take a closer look at some of the NBA head coaching changes entering the 2023-24 NBA season.

2023-24 NBA Coaching Moves

Detroit Pistons – OUT: Dwayne Casey IN: Monty Williams

In five seasons with the Pistons, Dwane Casey only won 31-percent of his games which isn’t what they hoped for when signing Casey as he won 57-percent of his games with the Raptors including a Coach of the Year Award. He’ll move to the front office with the team bringing in another Coach of the Year winner in Monty Williams. The former Suns coach was caught in the middle of an ownership change last season which ultimately led to his firing after the Suns failed to beat the Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals, losing the series 4-2. Detroit has hopes Williams can finally turn this rebuilding team around, but it took sometime as Williams initially declined the Pistons offer, but eventually inked a 6-year $78.5 million deal which makes him the highest paid head coach in the league. The former Suns coach went 194-115 during the regular season in four years with the team including an NBA Finals appearance against the Bucks in 2021. Have the Pistons finally found their guy to lead their young core? Only time will tell.

Houston Rockets – OUT: Stephen Silas, IN: Ime Udoka

The Rockets declined to pick up Silas’s contract heading into the 2023-24 season after going 59-177 in three seasons as the team’s head coach. He will now join Monty Williams’s coaching staff in Detroit with the Rockets opting to sign Ime Udoka who was put on leave and eventually fired by the Celtics last season after team misconduct issues came to light. Udoka was solid in his only season as Boston’s head coach going 51-31 and losing in the NBA Finals to the Warriors. He was an assistant coach for nine years before that, mostly as a part of Greg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio. The Rockets aren’t concerned about the offcourt issues Udoka had in Boston as the former Celtics coach offered his forgiveness and claims he has grown from his mistakes. The Rockets have a ton of young talent, specifically Jalen Green who should be Udoka’s first priority in making a superstar caliber player out of him come season’s end. The Rockets have had a bottom-two record over the past three seasons so Udoka at the very least should get Houston out of the gutter as far as the regular season is concerned in 2023-24.

Milwaukee Bucks – OUT: Mike Budenholzer, IN: Adrian Griffin

Some saw Budenholzer’s firing as a shock last season after the Bucks went into the playoffs as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference but surprisingly lost 4-1 to the Heat in the first round. They were coming off a NBA Championship only two years prior but that wasn’t enough to keep him around. He posted the league’s best record in three of his five seasons as head coach. Enter Adrian Griffin who is entering his first year as a NBA head coach after 15 years as an assistant in Milwaukee, Chicago, Orlando, Oklahoma City and most recently Toronto. He also spent nine years in the league as a player. Griffin is one of two first year head coaches in the league this season but his staff will include Terry Stotts who spent 13 years as a head coach including two with the Bucks. There is tons of pressure on Griffin to essentially take over where Budenholzer left off, which is keeping the Bucks as a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference and getting to the Finals once again. After the Damian Lillard trade, Griffin and the Bucks should have no problems capturing a top-3 seed in the Eastern Conference once again as long as injuries don’t become a concern.

Philadelphia 76ers – OUT: Doc Rivers, IN: Nick Nurse

Rivers’ history of choking in the playoffs caught up to him once again in Philadelphia as they fired him after three seasons, two of which he lost a Game 7 playoff game in a series that the team was leading. Enter NBA champion head coach Nick Nurse who led the Raptors to a finals series victory back in 2019. He compiled a .582 winning percentage over his five years as Raptors head coach, but expectations are much higher in Philadelphia than Toronto in today’s NBA. He could be in for a whirlwind of a season with rumors of James Harden wanting out of Philadelphia yet the team remains poised to make a NBA Finals run, somewhere they haven’t been since 2001. Nurse’s immediate success with the team could determine what, if any, roster changes are made throughout the course of the regular season. For now, spirits are high in Philadelphia with the starting five projected to be the exact same as it was at the end of last season.

Phoenix Suns – OUT: Monty Williams, IN: Frank Vogel

Williams enjoyed solid success in his 4-year tenure as the Suns head coach winning 62-percent of his regular season games but it wasn’t enough to keep him around in Phoenix. This was more due to his team’s recent performance in the playoffs since making the Finals in 2021. In 2022 he lost a Game 7 at home to Dallas by 33 points and last year lost an elimination Game 6 at home by 25 points to eventual NBA Champion Nuggets. Seasoned head coach Frank Vogel takes over who last coached in 2021-22 for the Lakers going 33-49 in his final season there, but did win a title with the team during the 2019-20 season. Phoenix hopes that championship pedigree follows him to a team that pretty much got completely flipped on its head aside from Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. The team moved on from Chris Paul and DeAndre Ayton this offseason while acquiring Jusif Nurkic and Bradley Beal. Vogel is known for being a defensive minded coach which is just what the Suns need as the offense should come relatively easy from Durant, Booker and Beal alone as all three averaged 23+ points last season. How long will it take not only Vogel, but a majority of the Suns roster to adjust to all the changes? The Suns have a win-now mindset and everyone involved should be locked in heading into the 2023-24 season.

2023-24 GoldSheet Basketball

The first edition of The Basketball GoldSheet will be available on November 1 once each NBA team has had a week under its belt so that we can have the stat sheets and game logs properly filled. Here’s what you can expect from The Basketball GoldSheet for the 2023-24 Season:

  • Similar to The Football GoldSheet, the 2023-24 edition of The Basketball GoldSheet will feature components of Confidential Tip-Off and The Basketball Record, which were previously separate products. This year, everything is combined into one product.
  • The Basketball GoldSheet newsletter will feature daily NBA and NCAAB game previews released by 12pm ET / 9am PT during the week and 10am ET / 7am PT on the weekends to accommodate for the earlier start times.
  • The Basketball Record provides a game log for every team with scores and point spread results.
  • The Basketball Spreadsheet provides situational records for each team based on their home/road splits and how they are performing as a favorite or as an underdog.

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