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Spoelstra, McHale Coaches of the Month

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The Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra and the Houston Rockets’ Kevin McHale today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in February.

Spoelstra led the Heat to an NBA-best 9-1 (.900) record in February.  The Heat posted a 6-1 mark away from AmericanAirlines Arena, and held opponents under 100 points in seven-of-10 contests.  Miami came out of the All-Star break by sweeping a two-game road trip with wins over the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 18, and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 20.  Spoelstra’s club won six straight games to close the month.

McHale guided the Rockets to an 8-2 record in February, and the highest winning percentage (.800) in the Western Conference.  The Rockets opened the month with six consecutive wins, and their average margin of victory in those games was 13.2 points. Houston, which averaged 111.9 points on the month, topped the century mark in each of its eight wins.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Brooklyn’s Jason Kidd, Charlotte’s Steve Clifford, Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau, Dallas’ Rick Carlisle, Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and Washington’s Randy Wittman.

via NBA Press Releases

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Sources: Jimmy Butler Prefers Trade to Clippers, Interested in Knicks, Nets

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After registering a trade request with the Minnesota Timberwolves, All-Star Jimmy Butler is most interested in pursuing a future with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told ESPN.

Butler’s ability to partner on the Clippers with a second star player in a deep summer free agency market holds a strong appeal to Butler, league sources said.

The Clippers have two max contract slots available in July, and are emerging as a front-runner for Toronto’s All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard when he becomes a free agent in July, league sources said.

Butler told Minnesota president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau that he would like to be traded before reporting for Timberwolves media day on Monday and prefers the possibility of the Clippers — as well as the New York Knicks, league sources said. Butler told the Timberwolves that he planned to leave the franchise in free agency next summer, sources said.

The Brooklyn Nets’ ability to sign two max free agents in the summer will keep them in consideration for Butler, but he has prioritized the Clippers and Knicks over them, league sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Brandon Knight Had ‘clean up’ Procedure on Left Knee

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On @theathleticnba @watchstadium: Houston’s Brandon Knight underwent surgery on his left knee, considered a “clean up,” and will miss some time, per league sources.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Report: Pelicans Waive Emeka Okafor

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The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has requested waivers on center Emeka Okafor.

Okafor, 6-10, 252, appeared in 26 regular season games last season with New Orleans after signing with the team on February 3, 2018 and finished the season with averages of 4.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.

Source: New Orleans Pelicans

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