Best Coach In Suns History

Discussion in 'Phoenix Suns' started by Hoop Head, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Hoop Head

    Hoop Head Señor Caca Cabeza Contributor

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    Saw mention of who the all time best Suns coach was in the John MacLeod thread and didn't want to see a thread about someone's passing be taken over with a debate like that. Figured I would start a new thread to keep the debate here rather than furthering it there. It's basically the offseason for us anyways and this is as good of a time as any to debate things like this.

    Who do you think is the best head coach in Suns history?

    I was going to make a poll but I think for this people should back up the choice with some reasoning. Of course if you want to just state who you think the best Suns coach was you are welcome to do so but if you don't provide reason for that choice don't be surprised to be questioned.
     
  2. Hoop Head

    Hoop Head Señor Caca Cabeza Contributor

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    I think there are 4 that can be debated, possibly more but the 4 I see mentioned the most are D'Antoni, Westphal, MacLeod, and Cotton.

    I'd say Cotton because he coached during a few different eras and was successful in each of them. He just knew basketball and what a team needed to do in order to win. He didn't always have the players to compete for a title but I think he overachieved with the Suns prior to Barkley's arrival. They were a good team but I think they won a bit more than they would have if Westphal had been made head coach in the late 80's.

    Westphal had a lot of success as the Suns coach by being in the right place at the right time. I don't mean to downplay his involvement but I believe if Cotton stayed on the bench then we would have made it back to the finals in Barkley's time here rather than falling short after that first year. If we won a title though, that's unknown.

    D'Antoni was successful as our coach but I think he's proven he needs a certain type of player to run his system and without that he can't really coach a team to any sort of success, regular season or otherwise. If he has that player to be his quarterback then he looks like a genius but without it he's exposed.

    I didn't watch the Suns with MacLeod as I wasn't old enough to watch when he coached but I've heard a lot about how he coached a fastbreak style and made the Suns enjoyable to watch and I'll give credit to him for making a lasting impression on those that did see him on the sidelines.
     
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  3. 1Sun

    1Sun Registered

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    Cotton. Hands down.
     
  4. Finito

    Finito Registered

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    Cotton
     
  5. GatorAZ

    GatorAZ Formerly known as GatorHater

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    Mike has a title or two with some better injury luck and lesser financial restrictions. Granted he was the GM for 1-2 years but I don’t think he was behind deals for cash considerations...
     
  6. Hoop Head

    Hoop Head Señor Caca Cabeza Contributor

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    From what I recall he was one of the bigger advocates for Marcus Banks and I think most Suns fan recall how that turned out. He still doesn't know how to properly use a backup PG. He has Chris Paul now and rather than using him to allow Harden more time to rest he keeps both on the floor together too much. If he could learn to rely on someone besides his MVP I think he'd have a title but until he does that I think he deserves some blame for the injuries his stars have suffered that have kept him from winning a title.
     
  7. sdscard4

    sdscard4 Registered

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    Cotton not even a debate
     
  8. Raindog

    Raindog Registered

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    You guys are all pretty well summing up my thoughts on the matter. And yes, Cotton, MacLeod, D'Antoni, and Westphal are really the only ones worthy of consideration in the 50 years of the franchise existing. There haven't been many coaching luminaries here in all that time.

    I guess if someone forced me to pick fifth place, I would have to say Alvin Gentry. After that... well, there really isn't much more to choose from.
     
  9. Mainstreet

    Mainstreet Registered User Contributor

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    My favorite coach is Cotton. It can be debated as to who is best.

    Those D'Antoni years were fun.
     
  10. Bobster

    Bobster Free Agent

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    I would say MacLeod may have done the most with the least. That 1976 team had no business being in the NBA Finals, and yet there they were nearly taking a 3-2 league over Boston. The 1979 team was thisclose to defeating eventual champion Seattle and advancing to the finals to play a short-handed Bullets team. The biggest failure was 1981 when they should have easily handled Kansas City (and Cotton) in the first round. His best team did play in an era (the second half of the 70's) when the league had much better parity and the top teams didn't win as many games as they do now so there weren't many gaudy win totals.

    Basically, McLeod had C. Scott, Adams, Davis, Heard, Westphal, Robinson, DJ and Nance; Cotton had Silas, Hawkins, Van Arsdale, Haskins, Walk, Chambers, KJ, EJ, West and Hornacek; and D'Antoni had Nash, Marion, Johnson, Bell, Diaw and Stoudemire. So they all had a lot of talent, MacLeod had a down period in the 80's when the team unraveled off the court, Cotton counld never get the Suns over the hump to make the playoffs in the 70's or the Finals in the 80's and D'antoni was only here for 4 years. So tough call.
     
  11. Dr. Jones

    Dr. Jones Has No Time For Love

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    Gotta be Cotton IMO

    MacLeod would be my #2 with Dantoni & Westphal just behind.
     
  12. JCSunsfan

    JCSunsfan Registered User

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    DAntoni was our best coach. Even with his flaws.
    Cotton was second, but he had a LOT of talent.
    Westphal, was a good x and o guy but struggled relating to players.
    MacLeod comes after that. He was a very frustrating coach who was more of a manager than coach.
     
  13. GatorAZ

    GatorAZ Formerly known as GatorHater

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    I remember that signing thinking Banks could come and play some defense but he was out of shape and a poor fit. Yet they gave him a 5-year deal which helped contribute to dumping KT. I remember him getting Simmons’ LVP award back in the day.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/070417&sportCat=nba
     
  14. Western Font

    Western Font Registered

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    Cotton for me, though I wouldn’t argue against D’Antoni.

    Westphal took over Cotton’s team, so only partial credit for development as an assistant, but he did take them to the finals in his first year, so he made the most of it. He does have to wear those two subsequent playoff losses to the Rockets, which remain brutally disappointing.

    I think D’Antoni could have won with some breaks. I sort of think Westphal should have won. Should have gone back to the finals at least.

    My memories of McLeod are too hazy to say whether I’d rank him ahead of Westphal or not. But he DID go to the finals himself.
     
  15. cheesebeef

    cheesebeef Registered User Contributor

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    Cotton... always got the absolute most out of his talent. Can't say the same for Westy or D'Antoni who had enough talent to win at least one title each.

    And I even put Westy about DA for two reasons: Finals appearance and playing the 3 peat Bulls as tough as anyone and The First Round Guarantee.
     
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