May 16, 2022

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Monty Williams was named NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Phoenix Suns to a league best record

Monty Williams was named NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Phoenix Suns to a league best record

Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams won the Auerbach Red Cup as the best coach in the NBA, the league announced Monday.

Williams won by a landslide, taking 81 first-place votes and finishing with 458 points in a vote by a panel of 100 sports writers and broadcasters. Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins (17 votes to 1st place, 270 points), while his counterpart Eric Spoelstra (1, 72) finished second and third, respectively.

The award comes a year after Williams finished second in the vote, just 11 points clear of winner Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks.

This is Williams’ first NBA Coach of the Year award, joining Cotton Fitzsimmons (1988-89) and Mike D’Antoni (2004-05) as head coaches for the Phoenix to earn that honor.

Under Williams, the Suns finished with a best 64-18 regular season in the NBA and earned the top seed in the Western Playoffs. Along the way, they won a franchise record – 18 games in a row and also went 16-0 in November, which was a tie for the second-most win in a month without a loss in league history (the Atlanta Hawks went 17-0 in January 2015).

Last month, Williams was honored with the Coach of the Year award from the National Basketball Coaches Association for the second consecutive season.

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Williams, 50, is in his third season in Phoenix and his eighth overall as a coach in the NBA, including five with the New Orleans Pelicans (2010-15). It is a profession 322-299.

Prior to the last two seasons under Williams, it had been 10 years since the Suns had finished at least 50 regular season wins, and last year’s NBA Finals trip was their first since Charles Barkley led them there in 1993.

Jenkins led the Grizzlies to a franchise with a record 56 wins and a second seed in the Western Conference.

Spoilstra, the second longest-running coach in the NBA behind Greg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, led the Heat to a best record in the Eastern Conference despite a revolving door of injuries to key Miami players.