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After 13-2 March, NBA names Houston’s Ime Udoka as Coach of the Month

After 13-2 March, NBA names Houston’s Ime Udoka as Coach of the Month

The NBA announced Tuesday that Houston Rockets head coach Ime Udoka was named Western Conference Coach of the Month for March. He is the seventh coach to win the award in franchise history and the first since Mike D’Antoni in February 2020.

While leading Boston in 2021-22, Udoka was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in February and for the combined months of March and April. He has a career record of 24-5 in March.

In March, Houston went 13-2 despite being without leading scorer and rebounder Alperen Sengun for the final 10 games and playing without its top bench scorer, Cam Whitmore, for nine games.

Houston won 11 straight games from March 8-29, tying for its longest streak since a 17-game span during the 2017-18 season. The Rockets have also won their past seven road games, a dramatic turnaround after winning just five of their first 29 road games this season.

The Rockets outscored opponents by an average of 9.3 points per game in March and won six consecutive games by double digits from March 14-25, tying for the third-longest streak in franchise history.  The Rockets scored at least 125 points in three straight games from March 19-23, marking their longest streak since November 1979.

Houston is 38-36 in 2023-24 after going 22-60 in 2022-23, which already represents the fifth-best improvement (by wins) from one season to the next in franchise history.  The Rockets are outscoring opponents by an average of 1.6 points per game after being outscored by a league-high 8.1 points over the past three seasons combined.

Under Udoka’s guidance, the Rockets rank 10th among all teams in scoring defense, sixth in field-goal percentage defense and second in 3-point defense. Over the past three seasons combined, Houston ranked last No. 30 (last among all NBA teams), No. 28 and No. 26 in those categories, respectively.

Houston is also allowing the fewest fast-break points this season after giving up the most over its past three seasons.

On offense, after committing the NBA’s most turnovers over the past three seasons, the Rockets are on pace to set a franchise record for the fewest turnovers (by average) in a single season.

Houston trails Golden State by 2 games for the Western Conference’s final spot in the…

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