April 17, 2014
The NBA announced today that Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford has been named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for the month of April. Clifford led the Bobcats to a 7-1 record (.875 winning percentage) in April, the best record in the NBA and the highest monthly winning percentage in franchise history. The Bobcats clinched the franchise’s second-ever NBA Playoffs berth with a 96-94 win at Cleveland on April 5.
The 7-1 record in April followed a 6-4 mark in February and a 9-7 record in March, giving the Bobcats three consecutive winning months for the first time in franchise history.
The Bobcats finished the season with a 43-39 record, the second-most wins in team history. The 43 victories are a 22-win improvement from the previous season, more than doubling the total from 2012-13. The Bobcats became the first team in NBA history to double its win total from the previous season in two consecutive seasons. In addition, the Bobcats became the 13th team in NBA history to surpass its win total from the two previous seasons combined.
The Bobcats finished the season strong, posting a 20-9 record after the NBA All-Star Break – the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and fifth-best in the league over that stretch – and an impressive 16-6 mark in their final 22 games. The team won 14 of its last 16 home games, and the season total of 25 home wins ranks as the second-most in franchise history. Charlotte’s 18 road victories set a single-season franchise record. The team closed out the season with an 8-1 record over its last nine games, including a five-game winning streak from March 31-April 9.
Under Clifford’s guidance the Bobcats have been one of the top defensive teams in the NBA this season. The Bobcats allowed the fourth-fewest points per game (97.1) after ranking 29th in points allowed per game last season (102.7). Charlotte ranked first in the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage (.776), fourth in games holding opponents under 100 points (53 games) and sixth in opponent field goal percentage (.442), while also leading the league in fewest turnovers per game (12.3).
This is the first Coach of the Month award for Clifford, who was hired as the Bobcats head coach on May 29, 2013.