Jeff Hornacek and Dwane Casey were named coaches of the month for December in the Eastern and Western Conferences.
While Casey's December record might raise an eyebrow, consider his Raptors have won eight of their last 10, with recent wins over the Pacers and Thunder. The Raptors won six of their eight games on the road.
Still, the state of the East can be best summarized by the fact the conference's top coach for the month barely cracked .500. Casey's doing an impressive job since the Rudy Gay trade and his team seems to be coming together nicely, but still, 8-6?
Then again, who else you going to give it to? Erik Spoelstra, whose Heat are doing what they're supposed to be doing? Frank Vogel, whose Pacers are doing what they're supposed to be doing?
Hornacek's Suns went 10-3, with wins over the Mavericks, Warriors, Rockets and Clippers. They won five straight between Dec. 4-15, the longest streak the team's had since Jan. 2011. The Suns, a team thought by most to be lottery fodder, are now 19-11 and fifth in the West.
Hornacek is the early leader for Coach of the Year honors, with Terry Stotts likely his top competition. Hornacek has taken a team felt by many to be tanking, and turned it into a top-five seed in the West on Jan. 1. That's impressive.