Playoff coaches on the hot seat

Originally Published: April 14, 2004
By Chad Ford | NBA Insider
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The coaching massacre of 2003-04 is showing no signs of letting up. In the span of less than a year, GMs have systematically wiped out a staggering 17 coaches, including 14 in the Eastern Conference.

With the regular season behind us, several lottery coaches, including Kevin O'Neill, Eric Musselman, Terry Stotts, Chris Ford and Nate McMillan, are in big trouble. Portland's Maurice Cheeks also looks like he's getting pushed to resign and take the Sixers' job. If Stotts goes, as rumored, every coach in the Eastern Conference will have resigned or been fired in the span of a year.

The madness knows no bounds. Even playoff coaches must sweat it. Last year, Rick Carlisle was fired despite leading the Pistons to the Eastern Conference Finals. Byron Scott was fired midway through this season despite leading the Nets to consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals.

Landing in the lottery still is the quickest way to get kicked to the curb, but these days even playoff coaches have to watch their backs. In fact, of the 16 coaches who guided their teams to the playoffs last season, nine either lost their jobs or resigned.

That's not very good odds for this year's group. While a few coaches, like Memphis' Hubie Brown, will have their jobs for as long as they want them, a number of coaches in the playoffs are under some pretty serious pressure as the postseason gets under way.

Here's a look at who's going to be coaching on the hot seat this postseason.

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer