A colleague of mine posted the following article, which really made me stop and consider the question:
Mikal Bridges Says Monty Williams is Not the Problem After Recent Firing
Mikal Bridges may just have a point. Let’s look at Williams’ record as head coach in his four years as leader of the Suns:
2019-2020: 34-39 – No Playoffs
2020-2021: 51-21 – Playoffs 14-8
2021-2022” 64-18 – Playoffs 7-6
2022-2023 45-37 – Playoffs 6-5
3 playoff appearances sure does look good on any coaching resume, but the 2020-2021 season is especially impactful. Williams, in his time as coach, managed to take the Suns to their 3rd Finals appearance ever.
What were the seasons like before Williams came into the picture? Let’s see:
2015-2016: 23-59 – No Playoffs
2016-2017: 24-58 – No Playoffs
2017-2018: 21-61 – No Playoffs
2018-2019: 19-63 – No Playoffs
Before Williams came in as head coach, the Suns hadn’t seen a playoff season since the 2009-2010 season where Amare Stoudemire was the top win share generator
This was back when Alvin Gentry was the head coach. Gentry didn’t manage to get the Suns to the playoffs any of the other years he was a coach.
The last time we saw the Suns attend 3 or more back-to-back playoff games was under the leadership of Mike D’Antoni, and that was all the way back from 2005-2008.
From 2015-2019 was Suns never broke a Win Percentage of greater than 29%, in Monty Williams first year in 2019-2020 he bumped it to 46%
In the following season, he led the Suns to their 3rd Finals in history with a win percentage of 70% and the season after that of 78%.
Monty Williams brought a winning culture to Phoenix 👏 pic.twitter.com/06qDiZVqEd
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 14, 2023
His final season featured a Win Loss percentage of 54%, and with a blowout loss at home, he was given the boot.
It’s hard to see Monty Williams as the problem by just looking at the stats, and though many have criticized him for his playoff tactics and decision-making, we haven’t had this much hope in the Suns in a long time. Should he have gotten the boot?
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