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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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Sources: Jimmy Butler Trade Talks ‘mostly dormant’

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For now, Minnesota’s talks with teams around the NBA are mostly dormant, league sources told The Athletic. The Miami Heat have long been the most aggressive team pursuing Butler, having advantages with a young, promising wing in Josh Richardson, being a team not in Minnesota’s conference and holding other assets to add in a package. Yet days before their own season opener Wednesday, Miami president Pat Riley informed his locker room that the team would stick with the current roster to start the season in a show of loyalty the organization has for their current players, league sources said.

Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic

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Sources: HEAT, Pat Riley ‘pulling the plug’ on Jimmy Butler Trade

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In another rare confirmation of Miami Heat trade negotiations, a team spokesman confirmed shortly before Thursday night’s game that Heat President Pat Riley recently told the team’s players he was “pulling the plug” on trade negotiations regarding disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler.

Amid growing speculation of specific Heat players being offered for Butler, Riley, during a recent practice session, lined up the team’s players on the practice court at AmericanAirlines Arena and told them he was standing by them.

Riley, however, did not state that a trade was categorically off the table.

Source: Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel

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Report: G League to Offer $125K Salaries to Elite Prospects

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The NBA G League today announced a Select Contract as part of a comprehensive professional path that will be available, beginning with the 2019-20 season, to elite prospects who are eligible to play in the NBA G League but not yet eligible for the NBA.  The contracts, which will include robust programmatic opportunities for development, are for elite players who are at least 18 years old and will pay $125,000 for the five-month season.

“Select Contracts are an answer to the basketball community’s call for additional development options for elite players before they are eligible for the NBA,” said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner.  “The supporting infrastructure surrounding these newly-created Select Contracts is designed to provide a rich offering of basketball and life skills developmental tools for top young players to grow along their professional paths from high school to the pros.”

Source: NBA

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