Friday , Apr , 01 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Garnett and O’Neal earn NBA monthly honors

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Miami Heat center Shaquille O’Neal and
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett were named NBA Players of the
Month for March.

O’Neal captured the award for the Eastern Conference with a stellar month that
included eight double-doubles and averages of 23.5 points, 10.7 rebounds
and 2.3 assists. He also shot a blistering 59.1 percent from the floor in
leading the Heat to a 12-3 mark.

Garnett garnered Western Conference honors by averaging 23.5 points, 13.7
rebounds and 5.4 assists. He also registered double-doubles in 14-of-15 games
for the Timberwolves, who ended March with their best month at 10-5.

Other nominees for the awards included Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Denver’s
Carmelo Anthony, Golden State’s Baron Davis, Houston’s Tracy McGrady, the
Clippers’ Corey Maggette, New Jersey’s Vince Carter, Philadelphia’s
Allen Iverson and Washington’s Gilbert Arenas.

The NBA also announced Coaches of the Month for March. Stan Van Gundy of the
Heat grabbed the award for the Eastern Conference, while Denver’s George Karl
won it for the Western Conference for the second consecutive month.

Van Gundy’s Heat clinched the Southeast Division title on March 25 with a win
over Phoenix and also reeled off a 12-game winning streak from February 26-
March 19. Miami, which ranks first in the league in field goal percentage
(.494) and holds opponents to the second-lowest field goal percentage (.415),
currently holds the league’s longest home winning streak at 17 games.

Karl guided the Nuggets to a 12-2 month, with their only two losses coming to
the Western Conference-leading Suns. Karl, who led Denver to an 8-4 February
in his first full month as the team’s head coach, was hired on January 27 to
replace interim head coach Michael Cooper and has guided the team to a 22-6
mark since the change.

Other nominees for the Coach of the Month award were Boston’s Doc Rivers,
Chicago’s Scott Skiles, Dallas’ Avery Johnson, Golden State’s Mike Montgomery,
Houston’s Jeff Van Gundy, Phoenix’s Mike D’Antoni and Washington’s Eddie