The Spurs hardly traipsed through the 2013-14 season. Injuries to key players and the overall health of an aging core were big issues. Popovich managed the team expertly en route to the top seed in the West, winning 62 games without a single player who averaged more than 30 minutes per contest.
Pounding the Rock
Popovich had strong competition for the award from rookie coaches. Jeff Hornacek finished second in the voting after leading the Phoenix Suns to 48 wins despite many projecting them during the preseason to be one of the worst teams in the NBA. Charlotte Bobcats headmaster Steve Clifford notably helped turn the franchise around, crafting a formidable defensive squad with Al Jefferson in the paint and more than doubling their win total from the previous season. Clifford finished fourth in the voting.
Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau finished third in the voting after guiding his team to 48 wins despite Derrick Rose going down for the season with another knee injury and Luol Deng getting traded in early January. Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey finished fifth thanks to the Raptors' surprise success.
Every team has its challenges, from unforeseen injuries to other obstacles, but one coach must win. Popovich once again got the best out of his team.
The full results can be seen at Spurs.com.