The NBA is a cold, unforgiving business for head coaches. One bad two-week stretch, and your entire philosophy is sent packing. The league is full of first-time coaches like John Beilein and Taylor Jenkins, who will get some time to work out the kinks, as well as veterans like Gregg Popovich and Erik Spoelstra who will have the job until they decide to hang it up.
However, these five coaches could be on the hot seat if their teams don't live up to expectations over the next few months.
5. Alvin Gentry, New Orleans Pelicans
As much as they might not like to admit it, the Pelicans are in a rebuild, as they've loaded up on young talent with an eye toward the future. While the 65-year-old Gentry's up-tempo offense seems perfect for this bunch, he's only made the playoffs once during his tenure in New Orleans, and GM David Griffin can and should show him the door if he proves he's not the patient guy required to lead the rebuild in the Big Easy.
4. Jim Boylen, Chicago Bulls
This isn't the Bulls of the last few years that were hanging on for dear life in the East. With Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Coby White, and Wendell Carter all healthy and ready to perform, the Bulls have a terrific young core that can make some noise in the East. If Chicago doesn't take major step forward, Boylen might be gone.
3. Frank Vogel, Los Angeles Lakers
Vogel's Pacers teams were the biggest threat to LeBron's Big 3 in Miami once upon a time, but his reputation as a coach took a nosedive following a nightmarish stint in Orlando. James has been known to tune out coaches when he doesn't respect their basketball acumen, so Vogel needs to prove himself to LA's star tandem. With Lionel Hollins and Jason Kidd as an insurance policy, Vogel should be gone the second the Lakers start slipping.
2. Scott Brooks, Washington Wizards
This one is a matter of when, not if. The team is just too dysfunctional and Brooks might not be able to handle it with his yesteryear coaching tactics. Washington will need a young, patient coach to guide this team in the future, and neither of those traits apply to Brooks. This is probably the last year in town for Brooks, but the organization could expedite his firing and can him before the break.
1. Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City Thunder
Donovan was the architect of Russell Westbrook's triple-double fetish, but he was unable to take teams that featured Westbrook paired with either Kevin Durant or Paul George to the finals. With Westbrook gone and the Thunder eyeing the future thanks to their treasure trove of draft picks, keeping a retread that frankly was a massive disappointment in Donovan makes little to no sense for Sam Presti.