The amount of coaches facing the firing squad this year in the NBA has been pretty stunning. For the most part, I’ve sided with the coaches, expressing support of Reggie Theus and Marc Iavaroni after they got canned. In both cases, the coaches didn’t have much talent on their roster, and in the case of Theus, injuries cost him his best player most of the year. Now Terry Porter on the other hand, I firmly believe needed to be fired. The demise of the Suns probably dates back to the forearm shiver by Robert Horry that cost them the playoff series against the Spurs, setting off a chain reaction of Shawn Marion getting traded for Shaq and Mike D’Antoni leaving for the Big Apple. Things were going to be different this year with D’Antoni gone and Shaq around to slow down the offensive style, but I never expected the team to be as disappointing as they’ve been.
Phoenix wasn’t too bad to start the season, getting wins against good teams like Portland, Dallas, Denver, and Orlando. Lately however, the Suns have totally sucked. It could be due to the tribulations of a long road trip, but this team hasn’t had a quality win in a month. And to cap things off, Phoenix got completely run off the floor the last two games before the All-Star break. The road losses to the Knicks and Bobcats last month really alarmed me, and then seeing them lose easily at home to the Bulls a few weeks — a team that has no inside presence — really sealed the deal for me. You can tell that Porter hasn’t found the right mix and can’t decide what style they need to be playing. Furthermore, he hasn’t helped this team a lick defensively; opponents throw in over 100 against them with ease.
And last week, when the team got wiped by Philly, they were down 14 after three quarters, a margin not impossible to overcome in the NBA. Porter pulled his stars and really lost them after that, from what I hear. Things were not going to turn around under Porter so it’s about time he got canned. It’s Phoenix’s only hope to become a semi-threat in the playoffs; before, they weren’t even a factor.