The Orlando Magic’s Stan Van Gundy and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin McHale today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in January.
Van Gundy guided the Magic to the best winning percentage for Eastern Conference teams in January (.769) by virtue of its 10-3 mark for the month. Orlando bested the Spurs, Lakers and Nuggets on the road as well as the Cavaliers at home. The victories in San Antonio and Los Angeles helped Orlando to record its first season-series sweeps in franchise history over those teams. Orlando outscored its January opponents by 10.2 ppg.
McHale led the Timberwolves to a 10-4 (.714) record, good for a share of the third-best mark in the Western Conference (Denver) for games played in January. The 10 wins marked Minnesota’s most successful month since March, 2005, when the Timberwolves posted a 10-5 record. Minnesota won five straight games to open the month, and posted a 5-1 mark on the road.
Other nominees for the Coach of the Month were Boston’s Doc Rivers, Charlotte’s Larry Brown, Cleveland’s Mike Brown, Denver’s George Karl, New York’s Mike D’Antoni, Philadelphia’s Tony DiLeo, Portland’s Nate McMillan and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.