Best Coach

Rick Adelman • Sacramento Kings
Team record: 30-10
First in the Pacific, first in the West
Has helped turned the once-moribound franchises into the league's elite teams. Using a variation on the Princeton offense, Adelman has turned to the Kings into the finest offensive unit in the league. They're the top team in the West and Adelman has managed to get the Kings there without injured power forward Chris Webber.

Jeff Bzdelik • Denver Nuggets
Team record: 26-18
Fourth in the Midwest, sixth in the West
After suffering through a 17-65 record in his first season as coach, Bzdelik has opened the throttle on the Nuggets offense and the results have been spectacular. Bzdelik has the Nuggets in fourth place in the extremely competitive Midwestern Division and squarely in the race for Denver's first playoff appearance in nearly a decade.

Rick Carlisle • Indiana Pacers
Team record: 33-11
First in the Central, first in the East
After leading the Pistons to two consecutive Central Division titles, Carlisle found himself without a job. He landed on his feet with the Pacers. The Pacers lead the Central as Carlisle has brought discipline to the Pacers on both ends of the floor and has deftly managed the minutes on one of the deeper teams in the league.

Terry Porter • Milwaukee Bucks
Team record: 23-19
T-third in the Central, fourth in the East
A first-year coach with a rookie point guard shouldn't be in a playoff race, but that's where Terry Porter and the Bucks find themselves in the Eastern Conference. The Milwaukee-native has the Bucks playing hard on both ends of the floor, preaching an up-tempo style on offense and a gritty and aggressive help-defense.

Flip Saunders • Minnesota Timberwolves
Team record: 28-12
First in the Midwest, second in the West
Saunders is the NBA's version of "The Iron Chef." Given numerous new ingredients to complement superstar Keving Garnett, Saunders has mixed together disperate personalities and disperate playing styles and has cooked up a great squad in Minnesota. And, he's been doing it without Troy Hudson, Wally Szczerbiak and Michael Olowokandi.

Jerry Sloan • Utah Jazz
Team record: 21-20
Seventh in the Midwest, ninth in the West
No John Stockton. No Karl Malone. No problem for Jerry Sloan, who, in his 16th season with Jazz, is the longest-tenured coach in the four major professional sports leagues. While they have always had Sloan's gritty personality, the Jazz seem even grittier and more hard-working without superstars this season. Sloan has the Jazz above .500 and on the fringes of the West playoff picture, truly an incredible accomplishment.