Best Pro Coach (2004)

Jeff Bzdelik

Even last year, when the Denver Nuggets were still an awful mess and the departed Juwan Howard was their only scoring threat, NBA sharpies noticed that coach Jeff Bzdelik was bringing some fierce new attitude and commitment to one of the league's worst teams. This season, the former Miami assistant not only has players with real game -- rookie Carmelo Anthony, a healthy Marcus Camby, a renewed Andre Miller and inspirational leader Earl Boykins, among others -- but he's gotten them to buy into a system built on relentless speed and dogged hard work. Anthony may be the team's future, but the guy they call Buzz is its vivid present. If the Nugs don't make the playoffs this year, it will be a big disappointment, but the mood on Chopper Circle is buoyant, thanks to a head coach with an unshakable belief that all things are possible -- especially when you're wearing a new color scheme of baby blue and Melo Yellow.


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