Steve Nash and Mike D’Antoni Named NBA Western Conference Player and Coach of the Month
Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash and Head Coach Mike D’Antoni were named the NBA Western Conference Player and Coach of the Month, respectively, after guiding the Suns to a franchise-record 15-1 record in January 2007, the NBA announced today.
The Suns matched the best January record in NBA history, tying the 1962-63 Los Angeles Lakers and the 15 victories were the most in any calendar month in franchise history. During the month, Phoenix won a club-record 17 consecutive games from Dec. 29-Jan. 28, tied for the seventh longest single-season win streak in league history.
The 2006-07 Suns became just the fifth team in NBA history to post two separate win streaks of 15 or more (15 and 17) in the same season and the first to do so before the All-Star break. Entering 2006-07, Phoenix had only one win streak longer than 12 games (14 from Dec. 1-30, 1992) in its first 38 seasons (since 1968-69).
This is Nash’s third career player of the month award. Nash, who turns 33 next Tuesday, previously won the award in November 2004 with the Suns and was the NBA’s Co-Player of the Month along with Michael Finley and Dirk Nowitzki in November 2002 as a member of the Mavericks.
Nash averaged 18.0 points and a league-high 13.0 assists on 54.5 percent shooting in 16 games and finished with the most assists (208) in any calendar month since John Stockton had 208 in March 1995. The 6-3, 178-pound playmaker had 12 double-doubles and dished out an NBA season-high 21 assists vs. Cleveland on Jan. 11 (later matched by Utah’s Deron Williams) to become the first NBA player since former Spurs guard and current Mavericks Head Coach Avery Johnson (1997-98) to record two 20-assist games in a single season. Nash won NBA Western Conference Player of the Week honors twice (Jan. 15-21, Jan. 22-28) and became the first player in franchise history to do so in back-to-back weeks.
Nash, the reigning back-to-back NBA’s Most Valuable Player (2004-05, 2005-06) is averaging career-highs of 19.6 points and 12.0 assists, the most in the NBA since Stockton (12.3 in 1994-95). Nash is on pace to become the first NBA player to average over 19 points and 11 assists in a single season since Magic Johnson and former Sun Kevin Johnson did it in 1989-90.
D’Antoni, the 2004-05 NBA Coach of the Year, becomes the first coach in team history to earn the coaching honor in back-to-back months and is the only coach in franchise history to win it four times (13-2 in December 2004, 11-1 in February 2006, 13-2 in December 2006, 15-1 in January 2007).
Since taking over as head coach of the Suns on December 10, 2003, D’Antoni has a 173-97 record with Phoenix and his .641 winning percentage trails only Paul Westphal (191-88, .685) in team annals.
The Suns’ 36-9 record (.800) matches the franchise’s best record through the first 45 games (1992-93 and 1994-95) and the team is on pace to finish with a club-record 66 wins.
The Pacific Division leading Suns, who have won 35 of their last 39 games after a 1-5 start, host the San Antonio Spurs tonight in a nationally televised game on TNT at 8:30 p.m. local time at US Airways Center.