The Celtics were the hottest team in the NBA over the final two and a half months of the season. While the team has bigger goals ahead, the league has recognized head coach Ime Udoka accordingly.
On Tuesday, the league announced Udoka was the winner of the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month award for March/April (the league gives one award for the six week stretch). The Celtics went 15-4 during that stretch, which was the best record in the NBA in that window.
This is the second consecutive Coach of the Month award for Udoka, who also won for February. He’s the first Celtics coach to win the award in back-to-back months since Doc Rivers did so to close the 2008 season. No other Celtics coach has done so since the league began recognizing Coach of the Month in 1982.
Udoka is also one of the favorites to win NBA Coach of the Year this season after the Celtics’ turnaround. This should help his case, he’s one of only two coaches to win the award multiple times this year along with Monty Williams of the Suns.
If Udoka does win Coach of the Year, he’d be the first Celtics coach to do so since Bill Fitch in 1979-1980. Only two other Celtics coaches – Tommy Heinsohn and Red Auerbach – have received the honor.
In the meantime, the Celtics are still waiting on their first-round playoff opponent. They’ll know Tuesday night, as they’ll get the winner of the Cavaliers-Nets play-in game.