Memphis, Tenn. – The NBA today announced Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach Lionel Hollins as the February 2013 Western Conference Coach of the Month. This marks the fourth career honor – and second this season – for Coach Hollins (December 2009, April 2012 and October/November 2012).
Coach Hollins guided Memphis to a 9-2 record in February, the most successful February in franchise history by winning percentage (.818), following the Grizzlies’ three-team trade on Jan. 30 that sent leading scorer Rudy Gay to Toronto and brought back veterans Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye from Detroit and Ed Davis from Toronto. Memphis closed the month by winning a franchise-record tying eight consecutive games (Feb. 8-present), the longest active winning streak in the Western Conference, which included back-to-back road victories on Feb. 19 at Detroit and Feb. 20 at Toronto.
Memphis has seen an offensive turnaround since the trade, as the Grizzlies have recorded assists on .636 of their made field goals since the trade (T-4th in the NBA) compared to their .568 mark before the deal (25th). The Grizzlies recorded a season-high 30 assists on Feb. 10 vs. Minnesota and shot a season-best .563 from the field on Feb. 19 at Detroit.
The league’s stingiest defense this season, the Grizzlies paced the Western Conference during February in points allowed (88.0) and total rebounds allowed (37.4) while finishing second in the NBA in forced turnovers (16.7). Until Sacramento scored 101 points on Feb. 12 at FedExForum, Memphis had held all of its first 28 opponents at home under 100 points, the longest such streak by any NBA team to start a season during the shot clock era (since 1954-55).
Memphis closed the month with a 25-point come-from-behind victory on Feb. 27 vs. Dallas, which tied the largest comeback in franchise history (March 25, 2002 at Portland) and set a new team record for the biggest reversal at home. The Grizzlies scored a club-record 24 unanswered points as part of a 33-2 run that bridged the second and third quarters and limited the Mavericks to just five points in the third quarter, a franchise best for points allowed in a quarter and tied for the fewest points allowed in any quarter by an NBA team this season.
Coach Hollins earned his third career Coach of the Month honor earlier this season after leading Memphis to an NBA-best 12-2 record through October and November. The winningest head coach in franchise history (196 wins), Coach Hollins has improved Memphis’ regular season record in every season since being named head coach in January 2009 and has the Grizzlies on pace to surpass the franchise records for overall wins (50 in 2003-04) and overall winning percentage (.621 in 2011-12).