4 options to replace Chauncey Billups as Trail Blazers head coach

Chauncey Billups, Portland Trail Blazers - Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Chauncey Billups, Portland Trail Blazers - Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports /
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Malik Allen, Miami Heat
Malik Allen, Miami Heat – Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

Head Coaching Candidate #4: Malik Allen, Miami Heat

If defense is what the Blazers are prioritizing most in a hypothetical head coaching search, they’d likely look toward the bench experts across the NBA whose sole job is to lead that side of the ball. Of all of the up-and-coming assistant coaches who have helped teams play better defense, hiring Malik Allen would be a great under-the-radar move.

Allen played for the Heat and found his way onto their coaching staff a few years ago. In his short tenure in Miami, Allen has taken on more roles and has even gotten a chance to lead a team of his own when he stepped in as the head coach of the Heat’s summer league team this past year.

Allen’s one of the main cogs in the Heat’s eighth-ranked defense this year. While he does have a prodigious defensive center in Bam Adebayo, he’s also helped to keep the rotations crisp and the identity consistent for the Heat. Defense has been about the only thing that’s kept Miami in the playoff picture.

Another feather in Allen’s cap is his ability to connect with young players and help them reach their potential. Guys like Haywood Highsmith, Nikola Jovic, and Gabe Vincent have all seen their careers improved in Miami, and at least some of the credit goes to Allen.

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Allen would give the Blazers a two-fold boost. Not only would he give them a fresh defensive identity that could make them contenders overnight, but Allen would also be a great boon to young players like Sharpe, Simons, John Butler Jr., and others, as he has a proven track record of development.