Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Winner: George Karl (40 percent chance)
There is no coach this season that has revealed more character and ability to steer talent than Karl.
Karl has guided the Denver Nuggets to a No. 3 finish in the Western Conference despite the absence of a clear superstar.
Karl has an eclectic collection of talent in Denver, but when teams reveal such strength in depth, it's often a credit to the coach's ability to flow bench players into his game strategy.
Despite recent injuries to Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari, the Nuggets continue to win.
When a guy who hasn't played much, like Denver's Evan Fournier, is able to come in and succeed, it's a sharp sign that the coaching staff has done a good job readying guys through practice.
Since being one game under .500 (11-12) through the first quarter of the season, the Nuggets have gone 43-12.
All this is a credit to Karl.
Runners-up: Erik Spoelstra (15 percent), Gregg Popovich (15 percent), Mike Woodson (15 percent)
An argument can be made for both Spoelstra and Popovich to earn Coach of the Year honors.
Say what you will about the overloaded talent, but Spoelstra has done a magnificent job leading the Miami Heat. There are plenty of examples of superteam talent—the Los Angeles Lakers being one—that haven't found a formula to win.
The Heat's winning blueprint didn't produce right away. But they have clearly become a dominant team over the past two seasons, and credit must be given to the guy leading from the sideline.
Miami has the best record in the league as defending champions, in a season highlighted by a 27-game winning streak that ranks second of all time. That's a testament to Coach Spo's placement here.
Popovich is another credit to winning. Last year's Coach of the Year is continuing to run a similarly successful campaign this season, despite injuries to key talent throughout the season.
The Spurs may not finish with the Western Conference's best record, but it's based more on a resting and readying heading into the playoffs than it is coaching. Because of that preparation, San Antonio could make another run deep into the postseason and add to Popovich's ring collection.
Woodson, meanwhile, has been an interesting case with the Knicks. He's been knocked this season as much as he's been celebrated.
New York's strong finish puts him in the discussion. The Knicks started the season 18-5, only to play below .500 (20-21) from Dec. 17 to March 17. From there, they won 13 consecutive games.
The surprise: Mark Jackson (10 percent)
The Golden State Warriors recently earned just their second postseason entry in 19 seasons under Jackson's leadership.
Jackson has initiated an emboldened culture shift in Golden State.
The former star guard (third all-time in assists) is also a preacher. The Warriors—still a young team that, for most of the season, started two rookies, a second-year player and the fourth-year Stephen Curry—respond to their well-liked coach.
Jackson, to the point of cliche, speaks of his squad as a "no-excuses basketball team," a refreshing voice in what has been known as the land of excuses. Rather than letting injuries or other letdowns become a voice for losing, Jackson's hyperbolic statements have actually spurred change toward winning goals.
The Warriors have won 45 games with three left to play. No one expected that.
The field: Scott Brooks, Frank Vogel, Tom Thibodeau, Lionel Hollins, P.J. Carlesimo (5 percent)