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Wizards' Scott Brooks named East's coach of the month for January

Wizards' Scott Brooks named East's coach of the month for January

After leading the Wizards to 12 wins in January, tied for most among all NBA teams, Scott Brooks has been named the Eastern Conference's coach of the month. Steve Kerr, whose Golden State Warriors also had 12 wins, earned the honors for the Western Conference.

The Wizards went 12-4 overall in January and continued their NBA-best home winning streak to 15 straight victories by going 7-0 at the Verizon Center. They now hold a 28-20 record overall and sit atop the Southeast Division, while ranking fourth overall in the conference. The Wizards finished the month with a season-high five game winning streak. 

Brooks, in his first year in Washington, has overseen a Wizards team recover from a disappointing 2-8 start and do so without backup center Ian Mahinmi. Mahinmi was their biggest offseason acquisition - he signed a four-year, $64 million deal in free agency - but has been sidelined by knee injuries. He has helped guide many players to the best seasons of their careers including starters John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter.

Brooks has worked wonders with a Wizards' bench that features many new faces and took months to find chemistry this season. Brooks has had to mix and match his rotations at times to stabilize a unit that early this season appeared to be a significant weakness. He has overseen the development of second-year forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. and has helped find more production from veterans like Jason Smith and Trey Burke, who had slow starts to the year after joining the Wizards in the offseason.

Brooks is the first Wizards coach to win a coach of the month award since Eddie Jordan did so in December of 2006. Other winners in franchise history include Doug Collins (Dec. of 2001) and Wes Unseld (Jan. of 1988).

This is the second straight month an award has been given to the Wizards. Wall won Eastern Conference player of the month for December.

Brooks, 51, signed a five-year deal to take over the Wizards in April after taking a year off from the NBA coaching ranks. He previously was the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2008 through 2015 and won the NBA's coach of the year award in 2010.

Brooks won coach of the month three times while with the Thunder, once in 2009-10, again in 2011-12 and once more in 2014-15, his final year with OKC. This is Brooks' eighth season as an NBA head coach. He previously worked as an assistant in Denver, Sacramento, Seattle and in Oklahoma City before he took over as head coach. Brooks played 11 seasons in the NBA before becoming a coach.

[RELATED: Morning tip: Scott Brooks' methods are welcomed change for Wizards]

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Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Today the NBA announced that Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has the most popular jersey in Japan.

Sales from NBAStore.jp, the official online NBA store in Japan, put Hachimura at the top of the list, followed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. The rankings were based on online sales during the 2019-2020 NBA season through January.

Hachimura's ranking shouldn't come as a surprise, as the rookie became the first Japanese-born player selected in the first round of the NBA draft when the Wizards took him ninth overall last summer.

Not only was Hachimura the top-selling jersey, but he also accounted for 24% of all jersey sales. Additionally, the Wizards made up 13% of all team merchandise sales. 

The Lakers topped the list of most popular team merchandise, followed by the Wizards and the Warriors. The Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks rounded out the top five.

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Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Steph Curry will return to game action when the Golden State Warriors host the Wizards on Sunday night, The Athletic reported Tuesday. The game will come almost four months to the day after Curry broke his left hand during a collision with Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes on Oct. 30.

The Warriors (12-14) enter play Tuesday with the worst record in the NBA having played most of the season without Curry or shooting guard Klay Thompson, who tore his ACL during the NBA Finals last summer.

Curry was cleared for contact Saturday and told reporters that March 1 had been his target date for a while.

"It's always been March 1," Curry said, per ESPN's Nick Friedell. "But that for me mostly is just to give you a target. You have to have something to work towards in the rehab process because that gives you a barometer for each week, what you're building towards."

The Wizards are hoping for the healthy returns of Davis Bertans (sore right knee) and Thomas Bryant (right foot) to the lineup against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and will presumably go into Sunday’s contest with a clean injury report outside John Wall.

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