NEW YORK – The Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra and the Denver Nuggets’ George Karl today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.
Spoelstra led Miami to a league-best 17-1 (.944) record in March, which included 15 straight wins to open the month that pushed the Heat’s winning streak to 27 straight games. The Chicago Bulls halted Miami’s run with a 101-97 win at United Center on March 27, leaving the Heat with the second longest streak in league history, six games shy of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 33-game streak during the 1971-72 campaign. Spoelstra, who reached 250 wins faster than any head coach in Heat history on March 25 by virtue of Miami’s 108-94 win over the Magic, has the Heat atop the NBA standings at 58-15 (.795) entering the final month of the regular season.
Karl led Denver to a Western Conference-best 13-2 (.867) mark in March, which included wins in the first 12 games of the month, feeding a 15-game winning streak that began on Feb. 23. The Nuggets’ 110-86 loss to the New Orleans Hornets on March 25 ended the overall winning streak, although Denver is still riding an 18-game winning streak at home, and owns an NBA-best 33-3 home record. At 50-24 (.676), the Nuggets own the third-best record in the Western Conference entering April.
Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Dallas’ Rick Carlisle, Indiana’s Frank Vogel, Memphis’ Lionel Hollins and New York’s Mike Woodson.