Hawks’ Budenholzer wins Eastern Conference Coach of the Month

Coach Mike Budenholzer and the Atlanta Hawks posted an NBA-best 14-2 record in December.

The Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for December might just be the early frontrunner for NBA Coach of the Year.

Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer won the conference award on Monday after leading his team to a 14-2 record for the month.

In his second year at the helm, Budenholzer as quickly established himself as one of the top coaches in the game. At 25-8, the Hawks sit atop the East standings boasting wins over Washington, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Portland, Cleveland (twice) and the Los Angeles Clippers, ranking in the top 10 in offensive and defensive efficiency along the way.

In December, the Hawks led the NBA in wins, win percentage (single-month franchise record of 87.5 percent), points allowed, points off turnovers and assist percentage. They also led the conference in 3-point shooting and assists.

It is the sixth time in team history a coach has won the monthly coaching honor.

Adding to Monday’s list of awards, Hawks point guard Jeff Teague was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week after averaging 23.7 points and 8.3 assists in three wins over Cleveland, Utah and Portland.