This is getting monotonous! Minutes after James Harden was named Eastern Conference Player of the month, his head coach was named Conference Coach of the Month.
The NBA announced Tuesday that Steve Nash has been named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for the month of February. It’s the rookie head coach’s first coach of the month honor and the first Nets head coach to be so honored since 2014, when his former teammate Jason Kidd won it twice. With one game left until the All-Star Break, the Nets have already clinched their best record at the break since posting a 34-15 record in the 2002-03 season when the Nets went to the NBA Finals.
Nash directed Brooklyn to an Eastern Conference-best 9-4 record in February even with his “Big Three” on and off the court due to health and safety protocols. Kevin Durant missed 10 games in February while Kyrie Irving missed two and James Harden one. At the same time, the Nets were able to develop players like Bruce Brown to take up the slack.
The Nets also had a conference-best 5-2 road record. The Nets won eight straight games from February 10 – 25, good for the franchise’s longest winning streak since the 2005-06 season, and posted a perfect 5-0 record on the team’s West Coast road trip, spanning from February 13 at Golden State through February 21 at L.A. Clippers, representing the longest undefeated road trip in franchise history.
The Nets defeated five teams currently in playoff position in February, with four of those victories coming on the road, including a three-game stretch that featured a rally from 24 points down to defeat the Suns, 128-124, in Phoenix (February 16), a 109-98 road win over the Lakers (February 18) and a 112-108 victory over the Clippers (February 21). For the month, Brooklyn led the Eastern Conference in offensive rating (119.4), field goal percentage (50.1 percent), 3-point percentage (41.0 percent) and 3-pointers made per game (16.0), while ranking second in points per game (118.2).
In his first season as a head coach, Nash has led the Nets to a record of 23-13, just one half game out of first place in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn leads the league in points per game (120.8), offensive rating (117.9) and field goal percentage (49.8 percent), while ranking second in 3-point percentage (40.5 percent) and third in assists per game (27.1).
The Nets boast the best road record in the East (10-7), which includes an active six-game road winning streak, matching the longest road win streak in franchise history. Brooklyn is also an East-best 12-4 versus Western Conference opponents, including a 9-0 record against Western Conference teams currently in playoff position. The Nets are the league’s best team against teams with .500 or better records, posting a 15-5 mark against such opponents this season, and Brooklyn has the sixth-best record in the league overall, while registering a 6-1 record against the five teams ahead of them in the standings.
Nash is the fifth Nets head coach to earn Coach of the Month honors since the award was first presented in the 1982-83 season. He joins Kidd (March 2014 and January 2014) and Lawrence Frank (February 2004) as the only Nets head coaches to earn the honor in their first season as a head coach.
Nash and James Harden, February’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month, are the fourth head coach/player duo in franchise history to earn Coach of the Month and Player of the Month honors in the same month, joining Frank and Vince Carter (April 2007), Frank and Kenyon Martin (Feb. 2004) and Byron Scott and Kidd (Dec. 2002).
All-Time Nets Coach of the Month Honorees:
Steve Nash – Feb. 2021
Jason Kidd – March 2014
Jason Kidd – Jan. 2014
Avery Johnson – Oct./Nov. 2012
Lawrence Frank – April 2007
Lawrence Frank – March 2006
Lawrence Frank – April 2005
Lawrence Frank – Feb. 2004
Byron Scott – Dec. 2003
Byron Scott – Dec. 2002
The Nets are 1-0 in March and face the Rockets Wednesday night in Harden’s return to Houston.