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Will Galen
10-03-2004, 06:46 AM
Win or go

October 3, 2004

While it is unlikely that the NBA's coaching carousel will churn like it did last season, when five teams fired coaches after the season, there still are several coaches who are candidates to receive their walking papers this season. Here are five who better keep the local U-Haul dealer on speed dial:

1. Lenny Wilkens, New York

The aged Wilkens wasn't even the first choice of Knicks president Isiah Thomas. A slow start could send Wilkens back into retirement before Christmas.

2. Jeff Bzdelik, Denver

After rumors he would be jettisoned late last season, Bzdelik survived thanks to the Nuggets' spirited run to the playoffs. But with Kenyon Martin joining Carmelo Anthony, expectations are much higher this season.

3. Johnny Davis, Orlando

He couldn't resuscitate the franchise with Tracy McGrady, doing it without him could be even tougher. Grant Hill is talking comeback -- again -- and Steve Francis can score, but Davis remains in a situation that has been tenuous from the start.

4. Don Nelson, Dallas

The Benefactor (Mavs owner Mark Cuban's new prime-time job) must be restless with Nelson's unorthodox ways. Even more detrimental to Nelson's job security was the loss of point guard Steve Nash to Phoenix.

5. Nate McMillan, Seattle

Late last season the well-respected McMillan was rumored to be unhappy with the direction the franchise has taken since Gary Payton's departure. A sluggish start will only cause more unrest.