Can Phoenix Suns’ Monty Williams win NBA Coach of the Year?

Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams has finally figured out the questions.

That’s what he said three years ago in his introductory press conference.

Ten years ago, now-Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams started his coaching journey in the NBA with the New Orleans Hornets. It didn’t go as planned.

Three years ago, he was hired as the Phoenix Suns head coach and things still weren’t going as planned. Prior to his arrival there was a timeline for this Suns group just to make the playoffs. He was entering a situation with a young semi frustrated superstar in the making and high expectations for a center drafted number one overall the year prior.

Not a cake walk, but all he was asked to do is get us to the playoffs and get the national spotlight on the Suns more favorably. This came on the heels of the Suns winning 19 games the previous season and firing his predecessor after only one year on the job. Basically a miracle.

Yet here his Phoenix Suns sit with the second-best record in the league. He acknowledged how he was overruled when considering putting Mikal Bridges back in during OT in the victory over Utah. This is Monty figuring out the questions.

His ability to delegate this season whether it’s to Chris Paul or to his coaching staff it shows a level of growth, the growth that he spoke of when he took over the job. And it doesn’t hurt to have a pair of players who should be in the MVP conversation.

He talked about this new ability to listen more and not think that he has all the answers.

In his press conference three years ago, he spoke about culture, building championship habits and everyone buying in. This has been shown on the court with the team excelling on both ends, all while using creative lineups.

He has held everyone accountable from Bridges to Deandre Ayton to Devin Booker and even Paul. In doing so he has uplifted the expectations from not only being a playoff contender but a championship contender.

This is what he meant by championship thoughts, this is what he meant by building a culture a professionalism.

Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams’ ability to unite the team is unique but he has also shown his ability to navigate the fragility of the NBA ego.

Former Sixers starter Dario Saric should be in consideration for 6th man and has bought in to the team first mantra Monty has spoken about. Monty has given time to everyone on the bench except for myself, which is also a smart move.

Devin eats, Paul is in charge and Ayton has been called out by his coach due to his potential and lack of aggression without alienating him. His go-to quote of not getting happy on the farm has tempered expectations for most of this year.

Williams has brought back a little of the shine to coaches who have sat in that seat before. Like Cotton Fitzsimmons to Mike D’Antoni or Paul Westphal, Williams has been a huge part in this team’s success, but right now his only questions are future playoff matchups.

He has come a long way since that press conference with less questions of who he is as a coach and person while getting positive results.

The only question he hasn’t answered is will he win coach of the year?

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