There are few jobs in the world less secure than head coach of an NBA team. Teams change coaches seemingly on a whim, so it is very common to see several professional basketball teams make a coaching change during each season. Often times a team will experience a bump in play – and resulting wins – after they make their change. Most times these bumps in play don’t last long, but occasionally they do. If NBA sports bettors can have a sense of what is likely to happen after a coaching change they can be in a strong position to benefit financially. Here are six factors to consider when trying to determine whether a post-coaching change bump in play is likely to last or end just as quickly as it started:
What changes has the coach made? – Sometimes when a NBA coach takes over a team he will make some immediate changes in response to clear problems that he sees with his new team. These aren’t necessarily long term moves to implement his strategy and get his system in place. They are just the quick fixes he thinks can make an immediate impact, giving the team more shooting opportunities, playing a tougher inside game for rebounds, pushing the ball up the hardwood more. Other coaches will let the team operate much as they were when he took over until he can get a sense of what is wrong and what they need. When a basketball coach has made some changes then you can have a good sense of why the team is playing better, and you can assess whether the changes are likely to stay in place, and whether they will continue to have a strong impact. if the coach didn’t make obvious changes then the boost in play is coming from some other factor.
Does the coach have any pre-existing relationships? – When a NBA coach has worked with players on his new team in the past that can be very helpful in the short term. Those players know what to expect, and they can make the new coach more comfortable – and his teammates more comfortable with the coach. That can have a big impact in the short term. Over the longer term, though, that impact is minimized as the coach gets to know his new team, and the players learn what to expect. If there is a bump and the coach has a good amount of familiarity, then, this could be a big factor for explaining what has happened. The impact could be more significant and can affect NBA betting lines if coach and player have worked together for a long time and have enjoyed success together.
The schedule – A new coach can have a much easier job in his earlier days if he faces a relatively easy schedule than if he is playing tough games. That means that factors like the opponents and where games are played is important to consider. An easy NBA schedule can make a new coach look good, but that can end quickly if things get tough. If a general manager has been considering a change for a while then he will often pick a soft spot in the schedule to do so to make the transition as smooth as he can.
How is the public responding? – Some coaching changes are heavily covered by the media, and the public will have strong opinions one way or the other. That can be the case when a high profile team makes the change, or when well known coaches are involved. When the team is in a smaller NBA market and has been struggling, though, the public may only barely notice that anything has happened. Understanding what the public thinks in a situation is a key part of all sports betting, and this is certainly no exception If the public overreacts then there may be value in betting against the team, and vice versa.
What was the state of the team under the old coach? – You can’t have a true sense of this unless you are in the locker room, but you can have a solid idea of about how the situation was before the change. Was the team still trying hard and playing with intensity despite the issues that led to the firing, or had the team quit on the coach already? The worse a team had been playing before the coaching change the more relieved they could be after the change. That relief could explain the boost in play, that might include fewer turnovers and a better shooting percentage, but it isn’t likely to last. Once reality sets in and the issues the team has beyond their former coach emerge again the team could return to their previous form – or at least closer to it.
What do they have to play for? – It’s much easier for a NBA coach to make a lasting impact on a team if he has something for them to rally around. Are the playoffs still a possibility? Can they improve on their record from last year? Do they play key rivals down the stretch? The more that a coach can use to motivate, the easier his initial job is. It’s important to remember, though, that NBA players are often jaded, so it needs to be something significant and meaningful to the team. If it isn’t then the motivation isn’t likely to be enough to make a difference and the new coach probably won’t have much of an effect on NBA odds or how you place your bets.