PHOENIX — The Clippers entered Thursday night's game against the Phoenix Suns with a five-game winning streak and having won 13 of 15 games, but when names have been mentioned for NBA coach-of-the-year candidates, Coach Vinny Del Negro's name is never among them.
Del Negro was asked about his thoughts on that, on whether he even weighs something like that.
He downplayed it, agreeing that San Antonio's Gregg Popovich, Boston's Doc Rivers, Indiana's Frank Vogel and Chicago's Tom Thibodeau should be the leading candidates.
"Those guys deserve all that," Del Negro said.
The media agreed with Del Negro, but his team has been playing really good basketball as of late.
The Clippers have come a long way since they lost three consecutive games, creating tension on the team, leading many to wonder whether Del Negro would last as coach the rest of the season.
They entered Thursday night's game with the fourth-best record (39-23) in the West, seventh-best in the NBA.
"I don't even think about it, because those things are out of your control," Del Negro said. "My focus is for the guys and the team to continue to build this thing the right way. And if we continue to have some success and win some games and do something on a consistent basis, then all of that stuff will take care of itself."