Trail Blazers

Former Sonics, Blazers Nate McMillan leads Hawks to Eastern Conference Finals

Trail Blazers

Former Blazers and Sonics coach Nate McMillan has led the Hawks to their second Eastern Conference Finals since 2015. 

McMillan, who’s currently the Hawks’ interim head coach after the firing of Lloyd Pierce, has led this team to a first-round win over the Knicks and in some people’s eyes, an upset against the Sixers.

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"Ever since Coach Mac [McMillan] came in, he's really been the head of the snake," Huerter said after the game on TNT. "He's preached toughness, getting it to ball handlers and believing in ourselves. We've got a young locker room, so we're a little naive. We're always believing, always knowing we can win. Now we've just got to keep going."

This is the farthest he’s made it in the playoffs as coach and should receive a multi-year deal as the Hawks’ head coach once their season ends.

The Hawks are 35-15 with McMillan at the helm and the team was 14-20 before with Pierce. The big difference is the Hawks became healthy with McMillan and are now four wins away from their first finals since 1961.

"I'm not surprised they haven't announced because, I don't know, it could become a distraction," Young said earlier in the playoffs on McMillan. "I think everybody kind of knows what's going to becoming. We're all winning, so it's not anything that I feel like he should be worried about or anything like that.

 

"It's just the timing. We're in the playoffs, it's the end of the season. I don't think it's something they want to take away from the team right now. I mean, obviously, he's done a great job with helping us turn this around, so I'd be surprised if he's not with us next year."

McMillan has been receiving his due for his job with the Hawks and the collapse the Pacers experienced this season in their first season without him.