Kevin McHale Named Coach of the Month

The NBA today announced that Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach Kevin McHale has been named Western Conference Coach of the Month for January after guiding the Wolves to a 10-4 mark. The honor is the first of McHale's coaching career and the first for the Timberwolves since the final month of the 2003-04 season.

Minnesota's 10 wins during the month were the most since posting a 10-5 mark during March 2005, which coincides with McHale's previous stint as head coach. The .714 winning percentage was also the team's highest since posting a 6-0 mark in April 2004. Only the San Antonio Spurs (.800) and Los Angeles Lakers (.750) posted higher winning percentages among Western Conference teams during January.

McHale guided the Wolves to winning streaks of five games (Jan. 2-10) and three games (Jan. 23-26), with the five-game streak marking Minnesota's most consecutive wins since December 2005. The Wolves posted a 5-1 record on the road during the month, including a 105-103 win at Phoenix on Jan. 16 in which Minnesota rallied from an 11-point, third-quarter deficit. Under McHale, the Wolves also went 3-1 during the month on the second night of back-to-backs, after starting the season 0-9 in such situations.

As a team, the Timberwolves improved to 105.1 points per game during the month, a +4.6 points per game differential over their opponents. In addition, the Wolves outscored their opponents by an average of 6.9 points per game in the paint and by 5.9 points per game on second-chance points. The Wolves also had a rebounding advantage in 11 of 14 games during the month.

Minnesota's 129-87 win over Oklahoma City on Jan. 7 represented the second-biggest margin of victory in franchise history, and also began a string of three consecutive games in which the Wolves connected on 10+ three-pointers (a franchise first). The Wolves also withstood 13 Hornets treys in posting a 116-108 win over New Orleans on Jan. 23, and limited the Chicago Bulls to 39.3% shooting in a 102-92 road win on Jan. 3.

Other nominees for Western Conference Coach of the Month were Denver's George Karl, Portland's Nate McMillan and San Antonio's Gregg Popovich. Orlando's Stan Van Gundy was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month.