Frank Vogel of the Indiana Pacers and Terry Stotts of the Portland Trail Blazers have been named November's Eastern and Western Conference coaches of the month, respectively, the NBA announced on Monday.
This should come as no surprise, with both coaches doing phenomenal work in the season's first month. Vogel's Pacers have been dominant, as their 16-1 record shows. Their defense has been so ridiculously, unfathomably effective that it led ESPN's Kevin Pelton to suggest that it might be among the best in NBA history. If the season ended now, Roy Hibbert would be the Defensive Player of the Year and Paul George would be the MVP. Both have improved under Vogel's watch, as has shooting guard Lance Stephenson, who has been empowered with more responsibility this season.
Stotts' Blazers are taking full advantage of their personnel, putting a beautiful brand of unselfish basketball on the court every night. The strategy is mostly the same as it was last season, but Stotts' starters have improved with time and his bench has been significantly bolstered. Unlike Indiana, Portland lacks the personnel to be an elite defensive team. Stotts has them playing smart schemes, though, and their numbers on that end have improved. No team in the Western Conference has a better record than the Blazers, which is incredible considering they were expected to be fighting for a lower seed in the playoff picture.
Appropriately, the Pacers will visit Portland on Monday at 10 p.m. ET.