NEW YORK – The Chicago Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Phil Jackson today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.
Thibodeau guided the Bulls to an Eastern Conference-best 13-3 record for March, a month in which they surpassed Boston and Miami atop the Eastern Conference standings. Key wins included back-to-back victories over Orlando and Miami on March 4 and March 6. Under Thibodeau, the Bulls have wrapped up their first division title since the 1997-98 season, the year of their last NBA Championship.
Jackson led the Lakers to a league-best 12-1 record for March. The Lakers, owners of a 54-20 record, currently stand in second place in the West, trailing the San Antonio Spurs by 2 ½ games for the number one seed. Highlighting their 12 wins was a 99-83 victory at San Antonio on March 6. Jackson’s squad also went on to defeat Dallas twice in March and clinched the Pacific Division title with an 84-80 victory over Portland on March 20.
Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Denver’s George Karl, Houston Rick Adelman, Memphis’ Lionel Hollins, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks, Orlando’s Stan Van Gundy and Philadelphia’s Doug Collins.