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#pounditTuesday, June 18, 2024

Suns make major decision following playoff exit

Monty Williams looking on

Apr 19, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams reacts during the second quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans during game two of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns have made a major move following their playoff exit.

The Suns have fired Monty Williams as their head coach, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Saturday.

Williams coached the Suns for four seasons. They went 34-39 in their first season under him, where they showed great progress by going undefeated in the bubble in Orlando. The following season they went 51-21 and reached the NBA Finals before losing the Bucks in six games. The Suns had made the Finals while being led by homegrown players Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton, along with veteran Chris Paul.

Expectations were higher the following season, which Phoenix lived up to by going 64-18 to earn the top seed in the West. However, the team lost in the conference semifinals, getting blown out by the Dallas Mavericks at home in Game 7.

This season, the Suns were the No. 4 seed in the West. They exited the playoffs in familiar fashion, getting blown out at home in Game 6, this time to Denver. Not only did Paul get hurt in the playoffs as usual, but Ayton did not play in the game either.

The team has a new owner — Mat Ishbia — who made a big trade for Kevin Durant this season. Ishbia also did not hire Williams. There is a new decision-maker at the top, and that person decided the two-time Coach of the Year Williams had to go.

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