Larry Drew Named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for December
The Hawks are off to a tremendous start to the season, with Tuesday night’s win in New Orleans moving the team to 20-10 on the year, just a half-game out of the #2 spot in the East playoff standings. A lot of people deserve a lot of credit for the team’s performance, but today we shall focus our attention on head coach Larry Drew, whom the NBA announced today as the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for December.
Drew’s Hawks compiled a 10-5 record during the month, tied for best in the conference, and put together winning streaks of 4, 3, and 2 games during that span. Most impressively (to me at least) is the team’s 4-1 mark on the second night of back-to-backs — the team is now an NBA-best 7-1 in those instances — which is a tribute to Drew’s ability to manage his players’ minutes and keep them properly motivated so as to avoid the dreaded “schedule loss.”
With injuries beginning to pile up as well, Drew has gotten excellent contributions from his bench, with both Anthony Tolliver and rookie John Jenkins making the most of their recent opportunities for extended playing time to help keep the team humming along to a winning tune.
It’s the first such honor of Drew’s coaching career, and he becomes the fourth Hawks helmsman to earn the honor, joining Mike Fratello, current team coaching consultant Bob Weiss, and Lenny Wilkens, who won the team’s most recent coaching award in November of 1997.