NEW YORK, April 25 -- Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson has been named the winner of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the NBA Coach of the Year for the 2005-06 season, the NBA announced today.
In his first full season as the Mavericks head coach, Johnson received 419 points, including 63 first-place votes, from a panel of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received. The 2004-05 Coach of the Year Mike DíAntoni of the Phoenix Suns was second with 247 points (27 first-place votes) and the Detroit Pistonsí Flip Saunders was third with 223 points (18 first-place votes).
Johnson's 66-16 start over his first 82 games is the best in NBA history.
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Johnson, the first coach in Mavericks history to receive the honor, led the Mavericks to a 60-22 (.732) record, the third-best mark in the league and tied for the best season in franchise history. Johnson, named head coach on March 19, 2005, was the fastest coach to 50 wins (50-12) and recorded the best start by a first-time coach in league history, winning 66 of his first 82 games. Johnson led the Mavericks to a 34-7 mark at home, tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the best home record in the Western Conference.
Johnsonís focus on defense guided the Mavericks to the third-best point differential in the league, as they posted 99.1 points per game while holding opponents to a franchise-low 93.1 points. This year marked only the seventh time in the franchiseís 26 years that the Mavericks held opponents under 100 points per game. After being outrebounded last season, they tallied 3.9 more rebounds per game than their opponents this season (3rd best in the league), pulling down 42.2 boards per game and holding opponents to 38.3.
After retiring as a player on Oct. 28, 2004, Johnson began the 2004-05 season as an assistant coach with the Mavericks. In 16 NBA seasons, Johnson played 1,054 games and averaged 8.4 points, 5.5 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 25.3 minutes. Johnson spent the majority of his playing career in San Antonio (1992-2001), where he was part of the 1999 NBA Championship team and remains their all-time leader in assists.
The Coach of the Year Award is named after legendary coach and Hall of Famer Red Auerbach who guided the Celtics to nine NBA Championships. In 1996, Auerbach was honored as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History as the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary
Following are the balloting results for the 2005-06 NBA Coach of the Year award and the all-time list of winners: