Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today. Under Karl’s stewardship, the Nuggets finished with a league-best 38-3 (.927) mark at home and the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra finished second in the voting, followed by New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson who finished third, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich fourth, and Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel fifth.
In earning his first NBA Coach of the Year, Karl totaled 404 points, including 62 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. The award was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.
The Nuggets went 57-25 (.695) – the league’s fourth-best record – despite beginning the season as the league’s third-youngest team with an average age of 24.9 years, and not having a player score more than 16.7 points per game during the regular season. According to NBA.com/Stats, the Nuggets ranked third in assists (24.4 apg), generating an assist on 60.0 percent of their made field goals. Denver ranked fifth in player impact estimate (53.8 percent), offensive rating (107.6) and net rating (+5.6).
The Nuggets’ 38-3 record at Pepsi Center was a franchise-best and tied for the 14th best home record in league annals. Additionally, their .927 winning percentage at home was the highest since 2008-09 when the Cleveland Cavaliers went 39-2 (.951) at Quicken Loans Arena.
In his 25th season as an NBA head coach (ninth with Denver), Karl earned two Western Conference Coach of the Month awards during the 2012-13 campaign. He won for March after leading Denver to a conference-best 13-2 (.867) mark, which included wins in the first 12 games of the month, feeding a 15-game, franchise-tying-best winning streak. He earned his first monthly nod in January after the Nuggets opened the New Year with a 12-3 (.800) record. During January, Karl passed Larry Brown for sixth place on the all-time coaching wins list and notched his 1,100th career win.
The sixth-winningest coach in NBA annals and the active wins leader, Karl has amassed 1,131 career victories in the NBA, including a streak of 21-straight non-losing seasons – tied with Phil Jackson (21, 1989-90-2010-11) for the most in NBA history.
The Coach of the Year Award is named after legendary coach and Hall of Famer Red Auerbach who guided the Celtics to nine NBA Championships. In 1996, Auerbach was honored as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History as the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary.
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