This is different!
BREAKING: Our starting 5 will share East Player of the Month honors for January! pic.twitter.com/Fp1zsV684F— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) February 5, 2015
Hawks’ starting five named Eastern Conference Player of the Month: pic.twitter.com/xXk3Yr9O1f— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) February 5, 2015
James Harden is Player of the Month in the Western Conference. Five Hawks share the honor in the East. I think that's kinda cool, leaving aside the fact that the whole bench got snubbed. Poor Pero Antic :(
It makes sense, too. The Hawks won 19 straight games with relatively even contributions from all of their top players, which deserves recognition. It's too hard to pick just one guy on a team with all five starters averaging between 10 and 20 points per game.
I appreciate that the NBA is willing to get creative with an award that mostly exists for appearances. This has actually happened before, to an extent: Via Basketball-Reference, Celtics teammates Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker tied in December 2001, three Mavericks shared Western Conference honors in November 2002, and LeBron James and Dwyane Wade tied when they were Heat teammates in December 2010. (Larry Drew and Moses Malone, not teammates, tied in December 1982, before conferences got separate awards.)
Never a whole starting lineup, though. That's different, and theories on its reasoning have already emerged. Pretty weird. Still not as weird as that time Hedo Turkoglu won it, but weird.