Avery Johnson has sure come a long way already this year. At the end of last season, and even the beginning of this season when the Nets were 1-2, some Nets fans were demanding for the firing of Avery. Billy King did not pull the trigger on his head coach and now Avery has another award to add to his trophy cabinet.
After the Brooklyn Nets won more November games this year than they ever did in their 35 seasons in New Jersey, Avery Johnson was named the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month, beating out fellow New Yorker Mike Woodson of the Manhattan Knicks. This was the fourth time that Avery has won this award and his first time winning it with the Nets. This is also the 7th time a Nets coach has won the award. Lionel Hollins of the Memphis Grizzlies won the award in the Western Conference.
This was a well-deserved award for Avery. After a slow start, the Nets won 10 of their final 12 games and finished the month at 11-4 before losing in Miami on Saturday night.
Additionally, it seems that the Nets are finally getting respect around the league after a great week. In the latest power ranking released today, most writers have ranked the Nets in the 4-6 range in the rankings. In most rankings, they are also ahead of the Manhattan Knicks.
The Nets have shown their toughness this week, winning hard-fought games against the Knicks and Celtics. Although they lost to Miami and collapsed in the second half of that game, they showed that if they are 100% healthy (Brook Lopez did not play) and if they play a 48 minute game, they can beat any team in the NBA.