Rivers Named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month

Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for games played in December and January, the NBA announced today. It’s Rivers’ 12th career Coach of the Month award and his first since Nov. 2018. The only coach who has received the award more often than Rivers is San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, who has earned Coach of the Month honors 17 times since the NBA first began awarding Coach of the Month by conference in 2002-03. Phil Jackson, George Karl and Pat Riley were each named Coach of the Month on 12 occasions. 

Rivers has coached the 76ers to an Eastern Conference-leading 15-6 start through the first 21 games of the season, including a 20-point comeback victory at Indiana last night. Rivers’ 76ers lead the league in blocks and fast-break points per game, while also ranking in the top five in steals per game, free throws made and attempted per game and opponent field-goal percentage.

Philadelphia’s 106.8 defensive rating is the best in the Eastern Conference, third in the NBA, while the team is 9-1 on the season when holding its opponent to fewer than 110 points. The team’s starting five – Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, Seth Curry and Ben Simmons – is a perfect 11-0 when playing together. The unit’s 13.8 net rating is the best in the Eastern Conference among lineups that have played at least 200 minutes together, while holding opponents to .444 shooting from the field.

The 76ers earned 14 wins within their first 20 games for the first time since 2000 and led the East through 20 contests for the first time since 2000-01. Philadelphia sports the best home record in the NBA at 10-1. The team swept three of the four two-game series it played in over the first month-plus of the season. 

Rivers joins Brett Brown, Larry Brown, Jim Lynam and Billy Cunningham as 76ers coaches to capture a Coach of the Month award.

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