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.