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Coach of the Year in the 'Degree of Difficulty' Category

Stan Van Gundy mentioned Reggie Theus as a Coach of the Year candidate; I considered it a friendly platitude towards a colleague. But then ESPN's John Hollinger agreed in his Tuesday chat.

Theus has to be up there. He's playing with a skeleton crew and his guys are completely overachieving. We'll see how things go now that he has his players back -- sometimes that first week or two can be tough sledding while the chemistry remixes.

Kelly Dwyer added his own endorsement this morning, going against his opposition to giving the award to coaches who take bad teams to mediocreland.
But Reggie Theus, man, I can see picking this guy for Coach of the Year. I'm cool with handing it to him, he's got the Kings on track to win 33 games, and there is no WAY this is a 33-win team. They play hard every night, they lose close games to teams that out-class (in talent, you should be reminded) them at every position, and Sacramento is always ready to play the next night in spite of the previous game's enervating factors.

He'll never win it -- Doc Rivers will likely get some Kevin Garnet runoff, Nate McMillan's my early choice -- but it's good to see others notice the incredible effort the team's (largely) put up.