First, Chris Paul
Clippers point guard Chris Paul was named the Kia Western Conference Player of the Month for games played in December, the NBA announced today. The Miami Heat’s LeBron James won the Eastern Conference award.
Paul guided the Clippers to a 16-0 record – the best monthly mark in franchise history — in which they won their games by an average of 15.8 points. Paul paced the league in steals (2.63 spg) and led the Western Conference in assists (9.3 apg) while adding 16.0 points and 3.0 rebounds. Paul had seven point-assist double-doubles, including a 24-point, 13-assist, five-steal performance in a 97-85 victory over the Sacramento Kings Dec. 21. The Clippers joined the 1995-96 Spurs and 1971-72 Lakers as the only teams in NBA history to complete a calendar month with a record of 16-0.
Here is a closer look at the month for Paul:
Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
Dec. 5 vs. Dallas: Had 13 assists and five steals to go along with 14 points in a 112-90 win over the Mavericks.
Dec. 23 @ Phoenix: Scored 17 points, dished 13 assists and recorded five steals, while committing only two turnovers, in a 103-77 win at Phoenix.
Dec. 28 @ Utah: Scored 29 points and added six assists in a 116-114 victory at the Jazz.
Second, Coach Vinny Del Negro
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro was named the NBA Western Conference Coach of the Month for games played in December. The Atlanta Hawks’ Larry Drew was named the winner for the Eastern Conference.
Del Negro led the Clippers to a perfect 16-0 record in December, including wins over the Boston Celtics and three wins over the Utah Jazz. The Clippers’ franchise-best 17-game winning streak, which included the sixteen December wins, ended with their first game in January. The streak stands as the longest in the NBA since the 2008 season when Boston won 19 consecutive games.
Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Golden State’s Mark Jackson, Indiana’s Frank Vogel, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, New York’s Mike Woodson, Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks and Portland’s Terry Stotts.