The NBA has named their Coaches of the Month for October/November. For the Eastern Conference, they have rewarded Coach Avery Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets. For the Western Conference, they have named Coach Lionel Hollins of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Brooklyn Nets went 11-4 in October/November. They closed the month of November with a five-game winning streak with wins over the Clippers, Blazers, and Knicks at home and the Celtics and Magic on the road. And earlier in the month, they had another five-game winning streak after they started out 1-2.
The Nets have been helped with the acquisitions of Joe Johnson, Reggie Evans, Andray Blatche, and Jerry Stackhouse. They were also helped with the return of Brook Lopez, who missed all but five games of last season. Johnson has given the Nets stability at the shooting guard spot and doesn’t have to work as much as he did in Atlanta with Deron Williams flanking him in the backcourt. Evans is a rebounding machine that’s helped them in that department. Blatche’s career has been resurrected under Avery Johnson and Stackhouse has provided some surprising performances at 38 years-old.
The Memphis Grizzlies were 12-2 by the end of November. They ended the month with a bang, rattling off four straight wins. Earlier in the month, they went on an eight-game winning streak, which included an impressive stretch of wins over the Heat, the Thunder at Oklahoma City, and the Knicks.
The Grizzlies have played well largely because Zach Randolph is completely healthy. He’s second in the league in rebounding with 12.7 boards per game. Rudy Gay, while not shooting as well, is still scoring steadily at 18.9 points per game. Marc Gasol continues to improve in the center spot and Mike Conley has become a very good starting point guard. And their weakness, perimeter shooting, has become very good this season. These Grizz have become scary under Lionel Hollins’ watch.
Congratulations to Avery Johnson and Lionel Hollins for winning Coach of the Month for October/November.