After leading the Phoenix Suns into fourth place in the Western Conference by way of a 12-2 record in the month of March, the NBA named head coach Alvin Gentry the Western Conference Coach of the Month today.
This is Gentry’s second Coach of the Month honor of the 2009-2010 season, as he won the award for the month of November (12-3) as well, making him only the second coach in franchise history to win multiple Coach of the Month awards in the same season; Mike D’Antoni did it twice in the 2006-07 season.
During the month of March the Suns led the NBA in points per game (115.9), field-goal percentage (50.7), three-point percentage (43.0), and rebounds per game (46.2), while finishing second in assists per game (25.4). Aside from their 12-2 overall mark, they also recorded a perfect 5-0 record on the road.
Amare Stoudemire has been a huge reason for the stellar March numbers, as he’s posted 27.3 points per game on 57.7 percent shooting to go along with 9.9 rebounds per game in the last 14 contests. Jason Richardson also turned in an impressive month of March, averaging 19.9 points, while knocking down 2.9 three-pointers per game on 47.7 percent shooting from distance and grabbing 5.6 boards per contest.
But Phoenix’s stellar play extends even further past the month of March. The Suns own the best record in the NBA since the All-Star break (18-4) and are tied with the Cleveland LeBrons for the league’s best record since Jan. 28 (23-5).
Gentry and company are a half game back of the Utah Jazz — whom they play in the last game of the season — for third place in the West, and they are only one game back of Dallas for second place. But the Suns are only one game up on fifth-place Denver, so these final seven games will undoubtedly shake up the logjam that is the Western Conference.