Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets has been named the Western Conference Coach of the Month.
Good news just keeps pouring in for Rockets fans today. After announcing that James Harden was named the Western Conference Player of the Month, the NBA announced that Mike D’Antoni had earned the Western Conference Coach of the Month. The NBA also announced that Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics was named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month.
This is the second time that D’Antoni has earned the award as a coach for Houston, and the seventh time for his career. D’Antoni coached the Rockets to a conference best 17-4 record. It’s the third best record through 21 games in Rockets history and the team is on track to win 68 games.
The Rockets have had a few statement wins this season, including victories over Golden State and Cleveland. The Rockets went 12-1 in November, losing only to Toronto. Houston also outscored their opponents by 16.76 points per game. That’s the largest scoring margin in November since Bill Russell‘s 1963 Boston Celtics.
Houston’s success is even more amazing considering that Chris Paul has missed all but seven games this season. In Paul’s seven appearances, Houston is 7-0 and the Rockets have outscored their opponents by 21.3 ppg in the six games since his return.
The Rockets are second in offensive rating (112.4) this year, sixth in defensive rating (101.6), first in made 3s per game (16.2) and second in made free throws per game (20.0).
Mike D’Antoni is one of the best coaches ever
Mike D’Antoni has really done an amazing job as the head coach of the Houston Rockets this year. Other teams with high expectation coming into the season, like Minnesota and Oklahoma City, have been pretty average. The Rockets on the other hand, have not only been winning games, but blowing teams out. Houston has won each of its last six games by double-digits, which tied the second-best streak in franchise history.
It seems like it hasn’t been so long ago when D’Antoni was coaching the Steve Nash led Suns. Back then, Phoenix was playing at an extraordinarily fast pace and shooting 3s at a rate that was very uncommon. If the 2004-05 Suns played in today’s NBA, their league-leading 9.7 3-point makes per game would be tied for 20th. Back then, the Suns shot 24.7 3s per game, the Rockets are averaging 44.4 per game this year.
Mike D’Antoni had a Hall of Fame caliber point guard to run his offenses a decade ago, but now he has two. Rockets fans should be very excited about this current squad and what they have the opportunity to accomplish.
Mike D’Antoni is one of the pioneers of the modern-day NBA offense, and he was truly ahead of his time.