NBA Awards if Season is Cancelled: How Many for the New Orleans Pelicans?

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Taylor Jenkins, Ja Morant
MEMPHIS, TN – JANUARY 28: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies and coach Taylor Jenkins had Memphis ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Coach of the Year: Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies

Like all of these awards, there are a lot of strong candidates for Coach of the Year in the NBA.

Erik Spoelstra had the Miami Heat (41-24) in the four seed behind Jimmy Butler and a duo of unheralded rookies, showing why he’s up for this award nearly every year.

Billy Donovan‘s Oklahoma City Thunder (40-24) didn’t miss a beat after trading their two best players, were the fifth seed and the team everyone was scared to face in the playoffs.

Mike Budenholzer continues to do a great job with the Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) leading them to the top record in the NBA for the second year in a row.

Alvin Gentry of the New Orleans Pelicans (28-36) might even get a vote or two after his team’s resurrection from a 6-22 start.

With all due respect to the coaches above, no one deserves it more than Taylor Jenkins of the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies (32-33) were the surprise story of the 2019-20 season. After finishing in the 12th seed at  33-49 the year before, the Grizzlies were poised to make the playoffs in a highly competitive Western Conference.

Their record may not be that impressive until you realize that the Grizzlies were not supposed to be there.

This was meant to be another rebuilding year, a chance for rookies Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke to start and gel with second year power forward Jaren Jackson Jr.

Most expected the Grizzlies to be fun, but finish well outside the playoffs and add to their impressive young core in the lottery.

Someone forgot to tell Jenkins and the Grizzlies, who just kept winning and fighting off the four teams on their heels.

Even though they only won four of their last 10 games, the Grizzlies were still 3.5 games ahead of the Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans for the final playoff spot.

Jenkins won Coach of the Month honors in January behind an 11-4 record, making him one of the youngest coaches to ever win the award.

He got the young Memphis Grizzlies to buy into the idea of team-first play and the Grizzlies were tied for second with the New Orleans Pelicans for most assists per game.

They are not the Grit-And-Grind Grizzlies from the past, but Jenkins has his team back in the playoffs and is the Coach of the Year.