Suns’ Monty Williams wins 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year Award

By Eurohoops team/ [email protected]

You can make a case that this award was late by one season, however Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns was voted NBA Coach of the Year, an award that he lost last year to New York’s Tom Thibodeau.

Per the press release: Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today.  This is the first NBA Coach of the Year Award for Williams, who joins Cotton Fitzsimmons (1988-89) and Mike D’Antoni (2004-05) as head coaches to earn the honor with the Suns.

Williams received 458 points (81 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.  Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins finished in second place with 270 points (17 first-place votes).  Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra finished in third place with 72 points (one first-place vote).  Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote

Williams guided the Suns to an NBA-leading 64-18 record in the regular season, the most victories and the highest winning percentage (.780) in a season in franchise history.  Phoenix had identical 32-9 records at home and on the road.  The Suns tied for the third-most road wins and fifth-best road winning percentage (.780) in a season in NBA history.

Phoenix won a franchise-record 18 consecutive games from Oct. 30 – Dec. 2, 2021.  The streak included a 16-0 record in November, tied for the second-most wins in a month without a loss in NBA history, trailing only the Atlanta Hawks’ 17-0 record in January 2015.

The Suns finished first in the NBA in net rating (+7.5), third in defensive rating (106.8) and fifth in offensive rating (114.2), making them the only team to rank in the top five in all three categories.  They were 47-0 when leading after the third quarter, the most such wins without a loss in a season in the shot clock era (which began in the 1954-55 season).

Williams was named the NBA Western Conference Coach of the Month twice (October/November and January).  He and his staff also earned the spot to coach Team LeBron in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.

This is Williams’ third season as the Suns’ head coach.  Last season, he guided Phoenix to a 51-21 record and its first appearance in the NBA Finals since the 1992-93 season, finishing in second place in the voting for the 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year Award.  Williams previously served as head coach of the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans for five seasons.

Williams will be presented with a special edition 75th Anniversary commemorative trophy today in celebration of winning the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year Award, gifted in addition to the Red Auerbach Trophy, which he will receive later.  The commemorative trophy, composed of a solid crystal basketball, features the NBA 75 logo 3D laser etched and suspended within its center.

The NBA Coach of the Year Award trophy is named in honor of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Red Auerbach.  The legendary head coach guided the Boston Celtics to nine NBA championships, including eight in a row from 1958-59 – 1965-66.

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