Rockets Mike D’Antoni Named Western Conference Coach of the Month
The NBA announced that Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni was named Western Conference Coach of the Month for games played in October and November. It is his second Coach of the Month award with Houston (December of 2016) and the seventh of his career. He joins Rick Adelman (twice), Don Chaney (twice), and Rudy Tomjanovich (3 times) as the only coaches in franchise history with multiple Coach of the Month awards.
The Rockets are 17-4 entering December and own the highest winning percentage (.810) in the Western Conference. That is the third-best record through the first 21 games of a season in franchise history.
Houston won five of its first six games, including the season opener at Golden State on Oct. 17. After losing consecutive games for the only time this season at the end of October, the Rockets posted a 12-1 mark in November, marking the third-best winning percentage in the month in franchise history (14-0 in 1993-94 and 15-1 in 1996-97).
The Rockets own the league’s best point differential at +10.8 points per game. Houston outscored opponents by 16.8 ppg in November (rounded up from 16.769), marking the highest point differential in November since the Boston Celtics outscored opponents by 16.833 ppg in 1963.
Houston was without nine-time All-Star Chris Paul for 14 games from Oct. 18 through Nov. 14 and is undefeated (7-0) when he plays this season. In the six games since Paul returned to action at Phoenix on Nov. 16, the Rockets have outscored opponents by an average of 21.3 ppg. Houston has outscored opponents by double-digits in each of those six games, tying for the second-longest streak in franchise history.
The Rockets rank ninth in points allowed this season (opponents: 103.1 ppg) after finishing 26th in 2016-17 (opponents: 109.6 ppg). Houston has outrebounded opponents in 17 of the 21 games this season and is fifth in rebounding differential (+4.1 rpg). The Rockets also rank third in the NBA in differential in free throws attempted (+5.0 per) and first in differential in 3-pointers made (+6.2 per; next closest team is at +2.4).
D’Antoni is 16 games shy of becoming the 30th coach in NBA history to have logged 1,000 career games. Dating back to last season, the Rockets have won nearly 70% of their games with D’Antoni at the helm (72-31; .699). He is one of eight coaches in NBA history with multiple Coach of the Year awards, and joins Gregg Popovich as the only ones who are active.
During D’Antoni’s time as head coach of Phoenix, the Suns posted the NBA’s three highest single season total for 3-pointers made from 2004-05 through 2006-07. Prior to 2004-05, only three teams had more than 700 3-pointers in a single season. In 2016-17, 25 of the 30 teams recorded at least 700 3-pointers made.