No Gordon Hayward? No Kemba Walker to begin the season? No problem.
That's how oddsmakers apparently feel about Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics entering the 2020-21 NBA season.
With Game 1 just over two weeks away, Stevens is listed as the current betting favorite to win 2021 NBA Coach of the Year at 9-1 -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.
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Here are the latest betting lines for NBA Coach of the Year, which have Stevens well ahead of Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, new Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel:
- Brad Stevens, Celtics: +900
- Erik Spoelstra, Heat: +1200
- Doc Rivers, 76ers: +1400
- Frank Vogel, Lakers: +1400
- Rick Carlisle, Mavericks: +1400
- Steve Kerr, Warriors: +1500
- Lloyd Pierce, Hawks: +1600
- Tyronn Lue, Clippers: +1600
- Michael Malone, Nuggets: +1600
- Quin Snyder, Jazz: +1600
- Monty Williams, Suns: +1600
Why is Stevens so far ahead of the pack? The Celtics are expected to be a top team in the Eastern Conference this season despite losing Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets. So, if Stevens can guide Boston to a No. 2 or No. 3 seed while integrating veterans Tristan Thompson and Jeff Teague in addition to managing Walker and his precarious health, he'll certainly be in the Coach of the Year conversation.
Stevens has his work cut out for him, though: Six of the last seven Coach of the Year winners have won at least 70 percent of their games, a feat Boston hasn't achieved since the 2008-09 season.
Alas, Coach of the Year is a regular season award, so even if Stevens takes home the hardware that's eluded him to date, he'd probably trade that to get over the East finals roadblock that's thwarted the Celtics in three of the last four seasons.