2011 NBA All-Star Game: Gregg Popovich To Coach Western Conference

Popovich also coached the Western Conference in the 2005 NBA All-Star Game.

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2011 NBA All-Star Game: Doc Rivers Likely To Coach Eastern Conference

The 2011 NBA All-Star Game, to be held on Sunday, Feb. 20 in Los Angeles, is rapidly approaching. Last night the San Antonio Spurs won again, clinching the best record in the Western Conference by Feb. 6, meaning Gregg Popovich will coach the West. Who will be Pop's peer in the East? Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics has the inside track, with a three-game lead in the loss column with just under two weeks remaining.

Here's a look at the candidates to coach the Eastern Conference on Feb. 20:

Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics

  • Team Record: 33-10
  • Games Remaining Through February 6: Seven (7); Cleveland, at Portland, at Phoenix, at Lakers, at Sacramento, Dallas, Orlando

Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat

  • Team Record: 31-13
  • Games Remaining Through February 6: Seven (7); at New York, Detroit, at Oklahoma City, Cleveland, at Orlando, at Charlotte, Clippers

Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls

  • Team Record: 31-14
  • Games Remaining Through February 6: Four (4); Orlando, Indiana, at Clippers, at Golden State

Stan Van Gundy, head coach of the 29-16 Orlando Magic, is ineligible to coach in the All-Star Game this season because he coached the East last year.

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2011 NBA All-Star Game: Gregg Popovich To Coach Western Conference

The San Antonio Spurs are off to their best start ever this season, with easily the best record in the NBA. Their win over the Golden State Warriors Monday night gave the Spurs an eye-popping 38-7 record, and locked in Gregg Popovich as the head coach of the Western Conference in the 2010 All-Star game, to be held on Sunday, Feb. 20 in Los Angeles. It is the second All-Star coaching nod for the coach affectionately known as Pop.

NBA All-Star coaches are determined by best record in each conference two weeks prior to the game. A coach can't coach an All-Star team two years in a row, otherwise known as "the Pat Riley rule," as the Lakers dominated the Western Conference in the 1980s. The worst record San Antonio could have through Feb. 6 is 38-12, which is better than 38-13, the best possible record of the Lakers, currently second in the west at 32-13.

Last season, the Lakers and Cavaliers had the best records in each conference on January 31, but both Phil Jackson and Mike Brown coached the All-Star Game in the previous year. Head coaching duties fell to George Karl and Stan Van Gundy. This season, the Celtics lead the Eastern Conference with a 33-10 record, with a comfortable lead over Miami (31-13) and Chicago (30-14). Celtics' head coach led the East to a 134-128 win in the 2008 All-Star Game.

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