Stoudemire Named West Player of the Month
Phoenix Suns forward Amar’e Stoudemire today was named the NBA’s Western Conference Player of the Month for March 2010, the league has announced.
Stoudemire wins his second career NBA Player of the Month award and first since April 2005, and becomes the first Sun to win the award since teammate Steve Nash in January 2007. Stoudemire’s win makes him the fifth player in franchise history to win multiple monthly awards, joining Kevin Johnson (Feb. 1989, April 1997), Charles Barkley (Dec. 1992, Feb. 1996), Shawn Marion (March 2002, Feb. 2006) and Nash (Nov. 2004, Jan. 2007).
Stoudemire garners the 13th monthly selection in team history after helping to lead the Suns to a Western Conference-best 12-2 (.857) record in the month of March, including nine-straight wins to close the month, the NBA’s longest active win streak. Stoudemire led the Suns in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage in the month, averaging 27.3 points (5th-NBA, 3rd-West) and 9.9 rebounds (12th) while shooting 57.7 percent from the field (8th). The five-time All-Star averaged 10.8 free-throw attempts during the month, second-most among NBA players.
In 14 games in March, Stoudemire tallied an NBA-best tying seven scoring efforts of 30 or more points, including a season-high 44-point effort on March 19 in which he attempted just 16 field goals, the fewest in the NBA in a 44-point game since Feb. 25, 2006 (Gilbert Arenas). Stoudemire, who owns a league-best tying 10 30-point games since the All-Star break, was the only NBA player to average at least 25 points and nine rebounds in March.
During its best March since 2008, the Suns clinched the 29th playoff berth in franchise history and the fifth in the last six seasons with a March 30 win at Chicago. Two nights earlier, the Suns’ March 28 victory at Minnesota gave Phoenix 47 wins, surpassing the team’s win total from 2008-09 with nine games remaining this season. Entering April, Phoenix is just one win shy of the 19th 50-win season in franchise history.
The Suns own an NBA-best 18-4 (.818) record since the All-Star break. In fact, Phoenix is 23-5 (.821) in its last 28 games, tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the league’s best record since Jan. 28.
The Suns return to action tonight, taking on the Detroit Pistons (23-51) at The Palace of Auburn Hills at 5 p.m. Phoenix time. The game can be seen locally on My45 and heard on Sports 620 KTAR.