The Phoenix Suns are starting to pile up hardware this season as Jeff Hornacek was just named the Western Conference Coach of the Month. Expect more accolades for this team before the 2013-14 season winds down.
Markieff Morris led off by garnering Western Conference Player of the Week honors back on November 11th and now it is his coach's turn for some kudos. Hornacek has been able to get the best out of all of his players this season, not just Markieff, as they are all playing at career best levels while the Suns have left preseason predictions in the dust.
Hornacek becomes just the third person (Larry Bird and Larry Drew) in NBA history to win both player and coach of the month honors and the first ever to win both as a member of the same team.
He also becomes the first person not named Larry to accomplish the feat.
Jeff won Player of the Month honors in December of 1991 by averaging 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while leading the Suns to an 11-1 record. Hornacek steered the Suns to a 10-3 record this time around, but did so while silencing critics that surmised the Suns might crumble after an unexpected 9-8 start.
After a great month of December the Suns stand at 19-11 headed into tonight's game against the Memphis Grizzlies. This mark ties their best start since 2009-10, but that team lost its next game and went to 19-12... which means a win tonight would give the Suns their best record through 31 games since the 2007-08 season. The Suns head into the game winners of two straight, with four double digit victories in their last five games.
Hornacek's record through 30 games is also the second best in franchise history behind Paul Westphal, who started off 24-6 while leading the Suns to an NBA Finals appearance in the 1992-93 season. Hornacek becomes the sixth head coach of the Suns to win the Coach of the Month award along with Cotton Fitzsimmons (three times), Westphal, Frank Johnson, Mike D'Antoni (four times) and Alvin Gentry (twice).