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Brad Stevens, Mike D’Antoni Named Coaches of the Month

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The Boston Celtics’ Brad Stevens and the Houston Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in October and November.

Stevens guided the Celtics to an NBA-best 19-4 record during October and November, including a 9-2 mark at home and a 10-2 mark on the road.  Boston followed an 0-2 start with 16 straight victories, tied for the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history.  During the streak, the Celtics rallied from a deficit of at least 13 points to win a game five times.  Under Stevens, Boston led the NBA in defensive rating through November, allowing 98.4 points per 100 possessions.  The Celtics went 15-0 when giving up fewer than 100 points.

D’Antoni led the Rockets to a Western Conference-best 17-4 record in October and November.  Houston closed this stretch with six consecutive victories, its second six-game winning streak of the season.  Overall, the Rockets outscored opponents by an NBA-high 10.8 points per game while compiling marks of 8-3 at home and 9-1 on the road.  In November alone, Houston went 12-1 with a point differential of plus-16.8 points per game.  D’Antoni, the 2016-17 NBA Coach of the Year, has overseen seven victories by 20 or more points this season.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Cleveland’s Tyronn Lue, Detroit’s Stan Van Gundy, Golden State’s Steve Kerr, Indiana’s Nate McMillan, Philadelphia’s Brett Brown, Portland’s Terry Stotts and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.

Source: NBA.com

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Dirk Nowitzki: ‘It’s looking like’ a Return Next Season

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Losing is no fun for Dirk Nowitzki. But waking up and going to the gym still is.

Heck, even watching film? Still is.

While the losses have mounted in a season that has been hard to watch at times, but promising at other moments, Nowitzki opened up on Thursday and said that the 8-20 record going into Thursday’s game at Golden State has not dampened his enthusiasm.

Not for this season. Or next season.

“I’m not going to say 100 percent I’ll be back — but it’s looking like it,” Nowitzki said after the Mavericks had a morning walk-through at the Olympic Club in downtown San Francisco. “I feel fine so far. I’ve played every game. I’d love to play all 82. That would be amazing at [age] 39. We’ll see how the body feels. But so far, it’s been fine.”

Source: Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News 

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Jahlil Okafor: ‘I feel like I got drafted all over again’

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Jahlil Okafor understands the importance of timing.

It’s been a year since he’s had consistent playing time, but appreciates the patient approach the Nets staff is taking towards getting him acclimated with the team. The former No. 3 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft explained that it’s on him to show that he’s ready to contribute.

“Just preparing as hard as I can, working as hard as I can, so I know when my time comes, I’ve prepared in every way,” Okafor explained on Wednesday after practice. “It’s kind of a mental thing, you feel good about yourself. You feel good about the work you put in. Hopefully, that translates to the floor.”

“I feel like I got drafted all over again,” he said. “They’re really invested in me. That just makes me feel wanted, it makes me feel a part of this team.”

Source: Brooklyn Nets

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Report: Mirza Teletovic Out Indefinitely with Pulmonary Emboli in Both Lungs

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Milwaukee Bucks forward Mirza Teletovic will be sidelined as a result of pulmonary emboli in both lungs. Teletovic’s condition was discovered when consulting with Bucks team physicians after he experienced unusual fatigue earlier this week. Following a 10-day rest period, Teletovic will begin his supervised rehabilitation program and updates on his condition will be provided when appropriate.

Teletovic, 32, has missed the last 16 games, including 10 after successful arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee on Nov. 21. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York under the supervision of Bucks team physician Dr. William Raasch.

In 10 games this season, Teletovic is averaging 7.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 15.9 minutes per game while shooting 46.7 percent from 3-point range.

Source: Milwaukee Bucks

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