2012 NBA Playoffs: Coaches with the most playoff wins and no title

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Few NBA experts would argue that Jerry Sloan had a very distinguished NBA career as a player and then as a coach. Sloan, however, tops the list of coaches who have the most NBA playoff wins without winning an NBA championship. As a coach, Sloan won 98 playoff games in his career, but came away empty in his attempt to win an NBA title when his Utah team was defeated in a pair of NBA Finals series, ironically losing to the Chicago Bulls, the team for which he spent most of his playing career.

Of the 16 coaches in this year’s playoffs, three, Doc Rivers, Rick Carlisle and Greg Popovich, have already won an NBA title. Fifteen of the 16 coaches have previously won at least one playoff game. The lone coach without a playoff victory is Utah’s Tyrone Corbin.

Following are the 21 coaches who have won 25 or more NBA playoff games but have not won an NBA championship.

Coach, Playoff wins (through playoff games of May 1, 2012)

Jerry Sloan………. 98

Rick Adelman………. 79

George Karl, Don Nelson………. 75

Stan Van Gundy………. 48

John MacLeod, Flip Saunders………. 47

Mike Brown, Jeff Van Gundy………. 44

Mike Dunleavy, Del Harris………. 38

Cotton Fitzsimmons………. 35

Doug Moe, Fred Schaus, Byron Scott………. 33

Larry Bird……….. 32

Joe Lapchick, Gene Shue………. 30

Paul Westphal………. 27

Mike D’Antoni, Richie Guerin………. 26

Did you know? Four of the coaches listed above have coached in a pair of NBA Finals. The quartet: Jerry Sloan, Rick Adelman, Byron Scott and Gene Shue. Nine of the coaches on the above list made one trip to the NBA Finals: George Karl, John MacLeod, Jeff Van Gundy, Del Harris, Mike Dunleavy, Larry Bird, Stan Van Gundy, Mike Brown and Paul Westphal.

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