Jeff Hornacek wins Coach of the Month honor


The NBA named Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek the Western Conference Coach of the Month for December, and it’s fitting that it comes the day his team takes on the Memphis Grizzlies. The Suns dropped their first game of last month, losing to the Grizzlies 110-91 on Dec. 3.

After that loss, Phoenix won 10 of its next 12 games with San Antonio and Golden State marking the team’s only losses.

In the Eastern Conference, Dwane Casey won the same award for the Toronto Raptors, who went 7-2 in the final nine games of December. The Raptors were 8-3 since the trade that shipped gunner Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings, and like the Suns’ trade of Marcin Gortat just before the 2013-14 season began, benefitted with addition by subtraction.

It’s just an interesting case of how much star power affects the league and how sometimes, it’s more beneficial to have the right pieces rather than a forced model built around one or even two players.

Hornacek joins Larry Bird and Larry Drew as the only two people in NBA history to win a monthly honor as both player and coach. And he’s only the sixth Suns coach to win the award, joining Alvin Gentry, Mike D’Antoni, Frank Johnson, Cotton Fitzsimmons and Paul Westphal.

  • Serek

    If the Suns reach the playoffs, Coach Horny is Coach of the Year.

  • http://thehardwoodboreal.blogspot.com m.i.milliman

    Well deserved. Jeff is killin it. I can’t fully express how much fun this team is to watch.

  • john

    @Serek

    I’d say 50 wins gets him COTY. Playoffs won’t necessarily get him the honor in my book with teams like Indiana, OKC, Miami, SAS, and Portland winning so many games.

  • Serek

    @john That’s doable if they keep this pace :-)

    Anyway, they should consider roster strength and expectations before the season. That puts a lot of otherwise succesful coaches out of contention.

  • http://None Porto Suns

    Coach Jeff is doing a wonderful job. These Suns’ are a real team, true play-off contenders…no stopping now!

  • vtsunrise

    I have a sneaking suspicion that this won’t be Coach Horny’s only Coach of the Month honor.

  • john

    @serek

    I agree. He’d get my vote, at this point. I guess what I meant by “in my book” is that I don’t believe the voters will see it my way. You can’t count on people to be too intelligent with their votes, these days.

    I think 50 is much more doable than it seemed even a couple of weeks ago. Their recent string of blowout wins has me thinking more and more that this team is the real deal. They may not be at the same level as the OKC’s and SAS’s of the West, but I’d put them up there with anybody else.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/stats/rpi/_/sort/SOS Bandwagon Fan

    If I read this correctly, the Suns have played the 4th toughest schedule to date.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/stats/rpi/_/sort/SOS

  • Solarion

    And he most certainly deserved it. I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong, I wasn’t incredibly enthused when they gave him the coaching job, I loved him as a player I just didn’t sense that he had the fire in his belly to be a coach, but his laid back style is actually a plus. I love being wrong when it comes to the SUNS.

  • Solarion

    Are the SUNS a PF away from really pushing in the west? Or are we afraid of messing up this chemistry? I’ve given up any hope on a lottery pick at this point, just win baby. Dragon is having a career year, that two-headed monster back court is a thing of beauty.

  • Sunsn7

    We have ourselves a future HOF coach.

    Book it.

  • Chris

    He is doing magic with this team. He is one heck of a coach so far and hopefully he keeps it up.

  • RealSunsFansSayNoToKoolAidDrinking

    When the Suns fail to beat the lowly Memphis Grizzlies in a game played at Phoenix Airways Center on the first game of the year….and the way y’all are praising them for so much when they haven’t really done anything but beat teams they were supposed to beat…..and lose to teams that are superior…..
    YOU KNOW UR DRANK!!! THE KOOL-AID

  • Chris

    No one said they are winning a championship dude. The only Kool-Aid out there is the “Suns are doing way better than expected and Hornacek is turning out to be a good coach” Kool-Aid. I will be the first to say they are not an elite team, but as some here have helped me realize, they are better than expected and have some good young talent. Besides, good teams lose to bad teams. Don’t know what you are getting all excited about.

  • john

    @kool-aid

    The Suns have done their fair share of losing to great teams (Portland, LAC) and losing to terrible teams (SAC). Happens to everyone.