Atlanta Hawks: How Nate McMillan was named Eastern Conference COTM for March

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks made a huge call before the All-Star break when they removed their head coach Lloyd Pierce. They replace him with Nate McMillan who they signed in the offseason after he lost his job with the Indiana Pacers last season.

To say that this appears to be an inspired choice would be understating how good the choice was. McMillan started his tenure at the Hawks with an 8-0 winning run. He would end the month with a 9-4 record.

While it appears that McMillan’s month fell off a cliff, he went on an eight-game Western Conference road trip taking on teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, the LA Clippers, the Denver Nuggets, and the Phoenix Suns.

Should the Atlanta Hawks give Nate McMillan the full-time job?

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It would seem a little unfair if McMillan was to take the Hawks from 11th in the league when he took over to as high as fourth in just one month. They are sitting in sixth at the moment, within reach of a home playoff seeding.

McMillan has done this without some big-name talent too. De’Andre Hunter has played only two games with minutes restrictions. Cam Reddish has been unavailable for his entire time as coach, and Kris Dunn has not played a game this season.

The Hawks front office even made a trade during this time, sending Rajon Rondo to the Clippers and receiving Lou Williams with some nice draft capital down the road. McMillan has taken all of this in his stride and kept the Hawks winning.

While he has also had a lot of luck, McMillan has the Hawks winning the games they should be winning, even without some of their top players. He sends every player out with a clearly defined assignment and they are sticking to it. How did he win the coach of the month award? By being the right coach at the right time in the right place.

Next. The pros and cons of trading Rajon Rondo for Louis Williams. dark