Suns fire coach Monty Williams after semifinal elimination sources say

Suns fire coach Monty Williams after semifinal elimination, sources say: What went wrong in Phoenix? – The athlete

The Suns are parting ways with coach Monty Williams after four seasons, league sources told The Athletic on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Suns lost to the Nuggets in six games of the Western Conference semifinals, losing Game 6 by 25 points.
  • Phoenix reached the 2021 NBA Finals after a season in which Williams led the team to a 17-win improvement.
  • The Suns under Williams went 194-115 in the regular season and 27-19 in the postseason.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

What went wrong?

The Suns would not win a title this season. Her bench was inadequate and her defense was questionable. Your health has collapsed. Most importantly, they needed more time to build chemistry with Kevin Durant. Still, that doesn’t excuse the collapse in Game 6, as for the second year in a row they were eliminated in an eliminator at home.

Williams did great things in Phoenix, leading the Suns out of a 10-year playoff drought and leading them to the 2021 NBA Finals. But Phoenix’s recent postseason shortcomings are at his expense. The Suns were good enough to win a title in 2022 but lost to Luka Dončić and Dallas in the Western Conference semifinals.

Williams had eight games this season to practice his starting five and rotation before the playoffs. And then once he made up his mind, he changed it in Game 1 of Round 1. He played too many minutes against Durant and Devin Booker. His rotation changed from game to game. Williams came at just the right time in the desert. He was exactly what the organization needed. But sometimes it takes a new voice and direction to reach a higher level. — Haller

How Mat Ishbia’s tenure signaled change

Mat Ishbia became a billionaire in the mortgage business through his hands-on leadership. He calls it “being in the weeds”. It’s his process, his path to success. He doesn’t know any other way. As a first-year NBA owner, it should come as no surprise that he’s making changes. At the introduction, Ishbia said he would take his time and observe.

But having Isiah Thomas, a close friend and former NBA coach and manager, by his side during the playoffs suggested basketball operations were under scrutiny. The Durant trade was completed to help Phoenix win its first championship. It was a bold move that came with an expiration date. Though Booker is young at just 26, Durant will be 35 in September. The Suns championship window will not be open much longer. Ishbia does not wait. — Haller


Selected in the first round by New York in 1994, Williams began coaching as an intern with Spurs in the 2004-05 season after a nine-year playing career.

He landed his first head coaching role at New Orleans in 2010, where he led to two playoff appearances in five seasons before being fired.

He was signed by the Suns on a five-year contract in 2019 when Phoenix were edging out a 19-win season. In three years, he led the Suns to a franchise-record 64-win season.

The Suns had championship ambitions early in the postseason after trading for Durant at the close. The 2021/22 season also ended for Phoenix in the semifinals with a similar loss to the Mavericks.

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(Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today)