Phoenix Suns: 2 Different Coaches with the Same Results

Jonathan CullenSenior Writer IMarch 28, 2013

Lindsey Hunter will likely have the same record as Alvin Gentry.
Lindsey Hunter will likely have the same record as Alvin Gentry.Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

As the season winds down, the Phoenix Suns face a very stark reality: Two different head coaches, Alvin Gentry and Lindsey Hunter, had almost identical results this season.

Since taking over, Hunter has almost the same winning percentage (.323) as Gentry (.317), currently sitting with a 10-21 record in 31 games.

With 10 games remaining, the Suns are likely to win another three or four games.

Two different coaches both coaching half-seasons of the same team and achieving almost the same exact record.

The result? The Suns simply aren't good enough. They don't have enough talented players on the roster to compete in the Western Conference.

If this season has served any purpose besides putting the Suns in position for a high lottery pick, it is that Phoenix can't delude themselves into thinking that they are one player away.

The Suns simply have a long way to go—the results of both coaching staffs speak to that. The Suns made the decision to replace Gentry at the exact halfway point during the season. Gentry was 13-28 in 41 games.

If firing Gentry served any purpose this season, it hopefully made it very clear to Suns president Lon Babby that general manager Lance Blanks hasn't done a good enough job adding talent to the roster.

Defense, effort and accountability were among the key points preached when Hunter was hired as the interim coach, while Suns management talked about the need to change the team's culture.


But in the 21 games that Phoenix has lost under Hunter, almost 40 percent of those losses have been by 20 or more points, including four times this month alone. Having that many blowouts would make anyone wonder if the message isn't getting across in the locker room.

Reading the tea leaves to what Suns management has been saying, it seems like Hunter will likely get another chance to coach next season; the results that were bad enough to get one coach fired will likely be enough to get another coach permanently hired.

Such is life in the NBA. It's a player's league, and you have to have good players in order to win. Outside the development of Goran Dragic this season, there haven't been many positives.

All of this speaks to the fact that Phoenix absolutely has to nail their likely top three NBA draft lottery picks this June.

Draft a potential star and the Suns' fortunes can turn around quickly. Draft another decent player and the Suns will likely continue to be mired in mediocrity.

Given the track record of everyone involved, it is hard to feel confident about the future.


Information used from, NBA/Suns, Basketball Reference.