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Pacers' Vogel, Thunder's Brooks named Coaches of the Month

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

You get by without a superstar player, you get a Coach of the Month award.

That was the lesson for February, with Indiana Pacers bench boss Frank Vogel earning the nod in the Eastern Conference and Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks earning it in the Western Conference.

Vogel ends Mike Budenholzer's stranglehold on the award, as the Atlanta Hawks coach had won it in consecutive months. The honor is the third of Vogel's career and speaks to how he has kept his charges firmly in the playoff race despite a rash of injuries and the season-long absence of Paul George.

With George potentially close to returning, Indiana's 7-2 month has pushed them to eighth in the East at 25-34, making an expeditious return worth George's while. The Pacers ranked fifth in offense and 19th in defense for February, an uncharacteristic flip from their normal performances.

Brooks likewise helped his team hang tough without a star, with Kevin Durant missing eight of the team's 12 games. Thanks in large part to an infusion of depth from the trade deadline and an infusion of ridiculousness from Russell Westbrook, Brooks' charges went 9-3 for the month despite the reigning MVP's absence.

Like the Pacers, the Thunder's big month has also moved them into eighth in their conference, in their case at 33-27. The Thunder ranked first in offense and 17th in defense for the month.

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