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Friday, June 9, 2023

Suns Fire Coach Monty Williams Despite his Strong Track Record

Suns Fire Coach Monty Williams Despite his Strong Track Record – On Saturday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Monty Williams, the head coach of the Phoenix Suns, was fired. This decision was made two days after the Suns’ loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal series, which ended their season with a score of 125-100. During Games 2-6, the Suns were missing their star veteran point guard Chris Paul due to a groin strain, and Deandre Ayton was also absent from Game 6 because of a rib contusion that he had played through in Game 5.

The future of Paul and Ayton with the Suns is uncertain at this point. Despite having a successful four-year tenure with Phoenix, where he won two NBA Coach of the Year awards and achieved a 194-115 record with a 63 percent win rate, Monty Williams was fired. Since 2021, he has been the NBA’s most winning coach. During Williams’ four-year tenure with the Suns, the team made it to the 2021 NBA Finals, where they blew a 2-0 lead and lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games. 

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Similarly, the Bucks have also fired their coach, Mike Budenholzer, this week after being eliminated by the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs despite being the No. 1 seed. The decision to fire Williams is a clear indication of the high expectations that the Suns face, particularly now that they are owned by mortgage billionaire Matt Ishbia, who acquired the team from Robert Sarver last year. The Suns are expected to win an NBA title with their core of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

For the second consecutive season, the Suns had an unpleasant end to their season with a crushing loss in the second round. Last year, they lost to Dallas, and this year they fell to Denver. When asked to compare the two losses after the defeat to Denver earlier this week, Williams stated that neither day felt good. Additionally, Williams took responsibility for the team’s poor performance in Game 6 against the Nuggets. “I take that personally, not having our team ready to play in the biggest game of the year,” Williams said. 

“That’s something that I pride myself on and it just didn’t happen. That’s something I have to take a deep look at, everything I’m doing.” After the Game 6 loss, Durant said it “sucked” that the Suns’ season was over. “It was a bad feeling,” Durant told reporters at his postgame press conference.”It was embarrassing. They came out and hit us in the mouth, and we couldn’t recover.” Durant also credited the Nuggets for being “a disciplined team,” which may not have helped Williams’ case with ownership.


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