Monty…

Covert Rain

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I've noted for years that trying to judge a coach overall is very difficult. But here is something I was starting to figure out about Williams even during last playoffs (when these Suns caught my attention again): as a coach, he's effectively a mirror image of Mike D'Antoni. He's like the opposite, but for his own reasons begins to behave similarly.

How? At first I thought he was just the polar opposite of D'Antoni, because Williams trusts his bench and D'Antoni famously did not trust his bench (except Leandro barbosa). D'Antoni even got snotty when nudged to play his rookies. Now I've figured out that it's more complicated than them being polar opposites. The two coaches approach the same position, declining to use all their bench players, for exactly opposite reasons. D'Antoni did it, to a greater extreme and more stubbornly, because he didn't trust his bench. Williams does it, somewhat more moderately (I mean, he did use Aaron Holiday recently and he's been using Biyombo over McGee), because he trusts them too much. His displays of excessive loyalty is counter-productive.
I have been pointing two things out about Monty that to me where exactly like Pringles. The inability to make in-game adjustments (that happened last playoffs too), sticking to sets that didn't work in the first half and his rotations. It used to drive me nuts when Nash was shut down on the high pick and roll and D'Antoni kept running over and over despite it not working. Monty has made some game to game adjustments but in-game he has been pretty bad. The second is the rotations. Shortening the bench way too much last season with Frank and now with our current bench. The loyalty thing is definitely a factor to a fault. Both things that drove me nuts about Pringles.

I hate to say it but it might be too late. Guys need to be in rhythm. If you play Holiday for the first time in Game 7 it's going to be difficult for him since he doesn't have a feel for this series at all on the court. It should have happened way earlier in the series.

If the Suns go down in 7? Monty played a huge role in it.
 

angelofthesouth

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As for the Suns, I'm just waiting to hear after the season what was secretly going on. Whether someone was secretly injured (Chris Paul's hand again?) or sick, or whether the Suns' well-known public image of collegiality (e.g., they liked each other) was a lie all along and key players actually couldn't stand each other. (Don't scoff, it's very plausible that we have been fooled about the personalities. It's happened before in Suns history.)
 

elindholm

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As for the Suns, I'm just waiting to hear after the season what was secretly going on. Whether someone was secretly injured (Chris Paul's hand again?) or sick, or whether the Suns' well-known public image of collegiality (e.g., they liked each other) was a lie all along and key players actually couldn't stand each other. (Don't scoff, it's very plausible that we have been fooled about the personalities. It's happened before in Suns history.)

I'm also curious to learn what the explanation ends up being. But I suspect that part of it is that the Suns rely so much on one another as teammates that they lack individual toughness.

Paul is probably the only truly mentally tough player on the team, and he's either worn down, injured, or both. Booker talks the talk, but the reality is that his performance usually suffers when he gets too focused on asserting himself. Crowder is tough in a sort of alley-fight way, but his toughness, like Booker's, rarely translates into improved on-court performance.

And the rest of the roster is just soft. Even McGee is more of a "gentle giant" type.

In both series so far, role players on the Pelicans and Mavericks have stood up and made the Suns fear them. They've impacted games beyond what their slotted contribution was supposed to be. They've risen to the challenge of the moment, stared the Suns down, and outplayed them.

It's not just that the Suns haven't done that -- they don't have personnel who can do that. It's not their culture. They are hard-working teammates who sing and dance before and after games, who trust each other and pick up one another when they're down. They don't have players who step on the floor and say, "Eff you, this is a war, and I'm taking you down personally because you're in the way of what I want."
 

Covert Rain

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When we win this chip you all owe Monte an apology.

NINNYS
Dude even if we win? We went 7 games against a team we should finished off way earlier. We lost two games against the Pelicans. We have played a 5 out of 12 games pretty badly and have to show any consistency.

Apology? Even if we win the CHIP if we keep playing like this we can say it was a struggle for Monty to figure things out. He still gets a hellalot of credit for winning our first title. It can actually be both if we get that far.
 

Raindog

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I also wonder if a lot of Monty's coaching

Indeed... I would totally be happy to be wrong for doubting Monty. In fact, in this case, I would much, MUCH prefer to be the one being "told so" than being "I told you so."
 

cheesebeef

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I'm also curious to learn what the explanation ends up being. But I suspect that part of it is that the Suns rely so much on one another as teammates that they lack individual toughness.

Paul is probably the only truly mentally tough player on the team, and he's either worn down, injured, or both. Booker talks the talk, but the reality is that his performance usually suffers when he gets too focused on asserting himself. Crowder is tough in a sort of alley-fight way, but his toughness, like Booker's, rarely translates into improved on-court performance.

And the rest of the roster is just soft. Even McGee is more of a "gentle giant" type.

In both series so far, role players on the Pelicans and Mavericks have stood up and made the Suns fear them. They've impacted games beyond what their slotted contribution was supposed to be. They've risen to the challenge of the moment, stared the Suns down, and outplayed them.

It's not just that the Suns haven't done that -- they don't have personnel who can do that. It's not their culture. They are hard-working teammates who sing and dance before and after games, who trust each other and pick up one another when they're down. They don't have players who step on the floor and say, "Eff you, this is a war, and I'm taking you down personally because you're in the way of what I want."
Man… this is well put. We’ve compared this team to consummate teams like the 2014 Spurs or the 2004 Pistons, but those teams were LOADED with MF’ers. Stone cold killers. Some on offense, some on defense. Not to mention total SOBs on their sidelines coaching.

We just don’t have enough of those players and Monty, for as good as he is, isn’t Pop or Larry Brown. He sets the tone for the feel-good… for better or worse. And I hen the rubber meets the road, I fear it’s ultimately for worse.

We also lack the player who has elite athleticism AND the absolute WILL to force it down the other team’s throat. You gotta have one or the other… a team chock full of MF’ers or a Unicorn. Right now it looks like we’re just out of reach of both.
 
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JRakes

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I think he's an inspiring motivator to get a young team with low expectations to overachieve... and a considerably inferior coach when it comes to getting a better quality team over the line. At least, that's what history has shown us so far.

Flexibility, strategy, and competitive drive are the keys to coaching at a championship level, and Monty seems to be lacking quite a bit in those respects. I saw someone on another forum compare him to George Karl, and that may

Horrible comparison….every born and raised suns fan knows about George Karl.
 

Phrazbit

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You don't go infinity-0 in the clutch without knowing your Xs-Os.

The Mavs have got Paul, almost, neutralized, especially on the road. where Paul is letting his frustrations get the best of him. We're going to win next game and I don't see the Warriors employing the tactics our the Mavs have because they don't want Curry or Thomas using all their energy playing CP3 in a full court press all series long.

For whatever reason, it's not Xs and Os that have hurt us this series, it simple crap, like not boxing out, letting the refs get in your head.

My only critique of Monty right now is that he is typically a few possessions late to call a time out and he is awful about using his challenges.

I honestly think we win game 4 if Monty challenges the charge by Paul on Doncic. Even though it was in the 2nd quarter it was a MASSIVE play, a play that put either a 3rd on Paul or a 3rd on Doncic and it was an obviously awful call, Paul was in the air while Doncic was sliding his feet. We would have won that challenge and it would have spared Paul his foul trouble and parked Luka on the bench for the rest of the half and made him play the 3rd like he was a puff of wind.

You gotta recognize those moments, don't just wait for some out of bounds call with 3 minutes left when you're down 8.
 
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Ouchie-Z-Clown

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This is a ridiculous thread.

Monty did not make CP3 play like garbage the last 4 games. He is not responsible for Cam Payne completely losing his nba abilities.

Could he make a little better substitution decisions, sure. Is that the reason we got our ass kicked last night - Not at all.
I guess the question is whether CP3 just suddenly became an awful player or whether the mavs have succeeded in adapting the defense to denying him what he wants to do. While it’s obviously a combination of the two, watch what Dallas is doing. They have successfully figure out how to deny Paul and Booker the elbow middy. Think how many of those we’ve even seen those two take in the last 4 games. And they’re rotating baseline guy to take charges on the rolling center and then other two guys are playing passing lanes to 3 point line. It’s incredibly effective. Monty has to identify the counter move. I think it’s having the centers jump stop on the roll and either throwing up the bunny or hitting back door cutters from the corners. Puts a lot of stress on centers to execute but both aytin and mcgee have shown the ability to hit the bunny and make the pocket pass.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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The Suns are missing Willie Green.

If I were Monty I would pick up the phone and ask him for some advice on how to better defend the Mavericks. He has a good basketball mind.
I don’t think willie gives him the formula bc he’s going to steal the mavs defense too. There’s still next season and beyond that willie has to face these suns.
 

Mainstreet

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I don’t think willie gives him the formula bc he’s going to steal the mavs defense too. There’s still next season and beyond that willie has to face these suns.

I don't think Monty would ask Willie Green for help. That's the way he is.

However, I think if Willie were asked for help, he would give him enough to win the next game. Besides offenses and defenses are always evolving.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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This suggests the possibility that the Mud have someone brilliant coordinating their defense. That either Jason Kidd or one of the assistant coaches is more clever than anyone knew. I'm going to look up who their assistant coaches are. ...Oh, great. They have a fired ex-Suns coach who might enjoy embarrassing them, and in any case has inside experience with Devin Booker. And there's always the fact that Jason Kidd is no idiot.
If I’m not mistaken I think the mavs became one of the better defensive teams down the stretch of the regular season.

Yup, gave up second lowest points per game in regular season and had 7th ranked defending rating (they were 21st last season). So they must have someone who is a pretty good defensive strategist.

 

AzStevenCal

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Monty has had 3 excellent seasons as the Suns head coach, exceeding virtually all expectations for the team. I'm not about to start thinking the Suns should start looking for a replacement because this year's playoffs haven't been as easy as I hoped.

I certainly won't condemn him for not playing Aaron Holiday. Holiday wasn't going to win any of the games in Dallas.

It's disappointing to lose but we've maintained home court and will hopefully trounce the Mavericks in game 7, like we have in basically every home game so far this series.
Maybe you're right that the outcome would have been the same with Holiday, I really don't know. But what if he'd used Holiday more throughout the second half of the season, allowing Paul and Booker to get a little more rest? Couldn't that have made a difference?

I know Holiday is undersized and it's made worse because he's really a combo guard not a point but it seems to me like he's helped us almost every time he's come into the game. Makes you wonder why in the world we went after him in the first place if we had no intention of using him, especially considering we had a clear need at guard.
 
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