Editor's note: We asked our panel of NBA experts, "Who will win Coach of the Year?"
1. Stan Van Gundy (7 votes)
Jon Barry, ESPN Great coach. For now, he'll have to work through a lack of frontcourt bigs.
Jemele Hill, ESPN.com:
Redemption for the coach who was ousted by Miami. His rep as a tactician and perfectionist will prevent the Magic from making their typical, head-scratching collapses. Expect a 10-15 game improvement.
John Hollinger, ESPN.com: Magic are a lot better
than people realize, and he's part of the reason.
Jalen Rose, ESPN: Last year, not even in the league. Now his team's going to win the division. His teams are always well coached and play hard.
Marc Stein, ESPN.com: Stan Van did a lot for a young Dwyane Wade in Miami's pre-Shaq days and you can expect him to have a similarly positive (and immediate) influence on Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis.
Chris Palmer, ESPN Mag:
How sweet will it be when the Magic finish with a better record than the Heat?
David Thorpe, Scouts Inc.: Taking over a playoff team that was swept last season gives him plenty of room for improvement, and he has the tools on this roster to allow him to create all sorts of problems for opponents.
2. Rick Adelman (4 votes)
Henry Abbott, ESPN.com's TrueHoop: Rick Adelman will make Houston a lot more fun to watch, and it will be tough not to vote for that.
Chris Sheridan, ESPN.com: He'll need Yao Ming to be as good a passer as Brad Miller was out of the high post, he'll need T-Mac healthy, and he'll need to drop any notion he has that Steve Francis can still contribute.
Chad Ford, ESPN.com:
The Rockets will finally be contenders and Adelman's player-friendly, up-tempo style will earn him the lion's share of the credit.
Keith Lipscomb, ESPN.com Fantasy:
Might as well go all-in! Adelman finally gets his first such honor, unless Doc Rivers gets bonus points for the Celtics' predictable huge turnaround.
Mike D'Antoni (1 vote )
Mark Jackson, ESPN: A coach who gets it. A pro, he communicates with guys and let's 'em play. This team is prepared and has fun.
George Karl (1 vote )
Kiki Vandeweghe, ESPN: Denver's going to be a really good regular-season team, with talent and an exciting brand of basketball.
Don Nelson (1 vote)
Ric Bucher, ESPN Mag: The master at making mash out of mish wins his fourth.
Gregg Popovich (1 vote)
J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: Another ring would equal Riley's five.
Byron Scott (1 vote)
Chris Broussard, ESPN Mag
Scott Skiles (1 vote)
Jack Ramsay, ESPN Radio: Has a good game plan at both ends of the floor. In charge. Makes good adjustments. And the Bulls will surprise in the East.
Jerry Sloan (1 vote)
Scoop Jackson, ESPN.com: He'll announce he's retiring and voters will feel guilty. They should.