Jamahl Mosley wins Eastern Conference Coach of the Month and is right back to work

The Orlando Magic are the "it" team in the Eastern Conference for November. After a nine-game win streak and racing out to the top of the conference, Jamahl Mosley got recognized for his team's work, winning the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month.
The Orlando Magic are the "it" team in the league right now. Jamahl Mosley is a big reason why.
The Orlando Magic are the "it" team in the league right now. Jamahl Mosley is a big reason why. / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Orlando Magic's practice was long over, but the work inside the AdventHealth Training Center was continuing.

Paolo Banchero was working with coaches on his pick-and-roll reads going through a screen and shooting over another coach who would either hedge to force a drive or drop to allow for a shot. These are typical drills every player and team does after the game to simulate what they might see during a game.

What is unusual is where the head coach was. Jamahl Mosley was in the drill, trying to fight over screens and body up the 6-foot-10, 250-pound almost-certain future All-Star. He was shouting for switches and not simply giving his young star the freedom typical for these kinds of drills.

He was making sure Banchero got his work in. And Mosley was getting his work in too, dripping with sweat as he came over to speak to the media after Monday's practice and then making the rounds to everyone else remaining in the gym.

This is the essence of who Mosley is.

While a lot of head coaches might be in their offices prepping for games, Mosley is on the court working with his guys. No one ever may be able to take out the assistant coach in him -- the developer that is the core of who Mosley is -- even if being a head coach has reduced his availability to do so.

It is easy to see why so many players around the league love Mosley. It is easy to see why the players have responded so well to him.

It is no surprise then that after a 14-6 start to the season, a nine-game win streak and a 12-4 record in November the NBA named Mosley the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for October and November, the first time Mosley has earned this honor from the league.

"He deserves it," Cole Anthony said after the Magic's practice Monday before the award was officially announced. "What more needs to be said? You saw what we just did as a team and what he did as a coach. I don't think there is anyone more deserving of that award. That's just how I feel. Mose deserves that. He has done a great job on this team. He balances a lot of egos and does a great job instilling these values in us."

Jamahl Mosley is the sixth coach in Magic history to win the award and the first since Steve Clifford in March and April 2019 when he led the team on its charge to make the playoffs that season.

The Magic's hot start is the team's best start to a season since going 13-5 in the 2011 season. Orlando did not earn its 13th win last year until Dec. 23. The team has made undeniable progress and Mosley's process is a big part of why.

Orlando currently ranks fourth in the league in defensive rating and 14th in offensive rating (a miracle considering the Magic have not been better than 20th in that mark since Dwight Howard was in pinstripes).

It is feeling safe to say the Magic have arrived earlier than expected. And at this point the Magic are expected to make a playoff push. The feeling inside the Amway Center and AdventHealth Training Center have certainly changed for the better.

The team is certainly on the right track. And, as this award would suggest, if the Magic continue on this path and reach the postseason, there is a good chance Mosley could get the year-end award. For the record and entertainment purposes only then, Jamahl Mosley is the second betting to win the Coach of the Year Award according to FanDuel SportsBook, trailing only Oklahoma City Thunder coach Mark Daigneault.

Praise for Mosley has come from everyone too. Mikal Bridges sang his praises after Saturday's game after his work with Mosley with Team USA.

Other coaches have been effusive with their praise on the work Mosley has done with this Magic team and the gains the team has made this year.

Like with so many things with this team, that is not the important thing for this team. They are not after the accolades and awards. They are about the work.

That is what has defined Mosley's tenure with the Magic. He has been patiently building and empowering his players to lead and to compete for two seasons before this one. And that part is not going to stop.

That is part of what his team commits to doing too. They want to get back and do the work. That was a consistent message from them during the team's nine-game win streak as they tried to establish and build their standard. They are still working on putting those words into action, but the team is learning on the fly how to win.

Mosley is at the heart of it. And, ever the coach, he will credit his staff and the players long before he credits himself. This award is for all of them, as much as it is for him.

But there is more work to do. So he nor the team is going to rest. They want to do great things and know that a championship or their goals are not completed in November.

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So Mosley will do what he always does. He will be back in the gym Tuesday with his team preparing for the next game and the next challenge. And Mosley is likely going to be getting his hands dirty and getting his sweat in too.