Suns' Monty Williams named NBA Coach of the Year
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams has been named the NBA's Coach of the Year.
A season after coaching the Suns to the NBA Finals, Williams led Phoenix to the NBA's best record in 2021-22. Phoenix's 64-18 record was eight games better than the Memphis Grizzlies, who posted the second-best record during the regular season.
Williams finished second in Coach of the Year voting in 2021, edged out by Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks for the award decided by NBA media. Williams' coaching peers voted him as the National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2021 and again this season. Now Williams can add the official hardware to his trophy case.
Williams beat out Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins and Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra, who were both named finalists for the award alongside the Suns coach. The Grizzlies earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference thanks to a 56-26 regular season while the Heat earned the No. 1 seed in the East with a conference-best 53-29 record.
Williams garnered 81 of the 100 first-place votes while Jenkins tallied 17 and finished second in voting.
This is the first NBA Coach of the Year Award for Monty Williams, who joins Cotton Fitzsimmons (1988-89) and Mike D’Antoni (2004-05) as head coaches to earn the honor with the Phoenix Suns.
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— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) May 9, 2022
The Suns have excelled on both sides of the ball this season. They ranked third in the regular season in defensive rating behind the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. They ranked fifth in offensive rating behind the Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and Grizzlies.
The honor is a first for Williams, who's in his eighth season as an NBA head coach. He spent five seasons as the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans head coach before joining the Suns in 2019.