PHOENIX — After leading the Phoenix Suns to a 51-21 record in his second season, ending an 11-year-old playoff drought for the franchise, head coach Monty Williams has been named the National Basketball Coaches Association's Coach of the Year, first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowksi.
The Suns' 51-21 finishing record was the NBA' second-best this year, just one game behind Utah, who the Suns defeated three out of three times this season.
Hired prior to the 2019 season, Williams inherited a Suns team coming off a 19-63 record. In the 2019-20 season, the Suns finished with a 34-39 record, including an 8-0 spurt in the NBA's "bubble" in Orlando. The Suns finished just short of making the playoffs.
This season, the Suns' playoff berth ended an 11-year playoff drought. They also won the Pacific Division title for the first time since 2007.
Williams won the award over other notable nominees including New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, Utah's Quinn Snyder and Philadelphia's Doc Rivers.
In three of the last four years, the NBA coach to be voted 'Coach of the Year' by the coaches association has gone on to win the 'NBA Coach of the Year' award.
The Suns begin their quest for the franchise's first championship on Sunday, when they take on either the Los Angeles Lakers or Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.
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