Friday afternoon, Shams Charania reported there is ‘strong momentum’ that the Atlanta Hawks will remove the interim tag and make Nate McMillan their head coach following the postseason.
"There's strong momentum toward the Hawks making Nate McMillan their permanent head coach."— Stadium (@Stadium) May 21, 2021
Our NBA Insider @ShamsCharania has the latest on Nate McMillan's status with the Hawks. pic.twitter.com/2ER45Ev9g2
This comes as little surprise, as the Hawks went on a 27-11 run down the stretch of the season after McMillan took over, and finished with a 41-31 record and the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. While the schedule was a bit light across some of that stretch, particularly right when he took over, there’s no argument that Atlanta has seemed to have more chemistry under the veteran head coach. He was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for March after leading Atlanta to a 9-4 record after taking over the team on March 2.
McMillan has his group poised to make noise in the postseason, something that the club set as a goal coming into the 2020-21 season. Their second half play is the reason for that, so McMillan obviously deserves his fair share of credit. Letting him go regardless of the result in the first round would seem unlikely, as he is by all accounts well respected in the locker room by players and staff alike.
McMillan has a 688-599 (.535) career coaching record and became the 20th winningest coach in NBA history back in April.