Grizzlies' Joerger named West Coach of the Month
The NBA today announced the Grizzlies' Dave Joerger as Western Conference Coach of the Month for January, the first such award for Joerger.
At 39, Joerger, who is the youngest coach to win the West award since Monty Williams (38) in January, 2011, guided Memphis to an NBA-best 12-3 record (.800) during the month of January, as the Grizzlies won five consecutive games and nine of its last 10 to close out the month.
Memphis tied its franchise record for January wins and finished just one victory shy of the franchise record for wins in any month (13 in March 2004 and April 2012).
The Grizzlies won five consecutive games twice during the month (Jan. 10-17, Jan. 24-31), with multiple wins during those stretches coming against the Western Conference's top teams. Memphis limited Oklahoma City to 87 points in a Jan. 14 victory, then swept a back-to-back, home-and-home series against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 24-25, becoming the first team to hold Houston to below 35 paint points this season on Jan. 24. Memphis followed with a trip to Portland, holding the Trail Blazers' league-leading scoring offense to a season-low 81 points on just .345 shooting in a 98-81 road victory.
Memphis also won six consecutive road games from Jan. 5-31, the second-longest road winning streak in franchise history. The Grizzlies held all six opponents to 90 points or fewer, including allowing just 77 points on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 15 in the second game of a back-to-back. Memphis is 13-7 on the road this season, the fourth-best road record in the NBA.
Under Joerger, Memphis emerged as one of the stingier defenses in the month of January, holding opponents to 91.5 points per game on just .431 shooting from the field and .311 shooting from behind the arc. After the return of Marc Gasol from injury on Jan. 14, Memphis held opponents to a league-low 86.3 points per game while sporting the NBA's best defensive rating at 93.7 during the nine-game stretch to close out the month of January.