Lindsey Hunter Looks to Be One-and-Done with the Phoenix Suns

Jonathan CullenSenior Writer IFebruary 26, 2013

It's getting hard for Suns' head coach Hunter to hide his frustration.
It's getting hard for Suns' head coach Hunter to hide his frustration.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It was expected to be different for Lindsey Hunter and the Phoenix Suns.

But after losing 97-87 Sunday night to the San Antonio Spurs, without Tony Parker, Hunter's record stands at 5-11 as the interim coach.

It is not just his record that makes it look unlikely that the Suns will remove the "interim" tag from Hunter, it is his growing sense of frustration with the team.

After seeing an initial spark with a new coach taking over, reality has set in for Hunter, who has to be wondering what he has gotten himself into.

The Suns still resemble the same team that already cost Alvin Gentry his job in early January.

Coming on the heels of the Suns losing by 25 points to an undermanned Boston Celtics last Friday night, It is pretty clear that the talent on the team is simply not good enough to win right now.

Friday's loss marked the third time in the last seven games that the Suns have lost by 25 or more points.

It looks like the frustration of coaching this roster finally got to Hunter after the Celtics loss (per The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro):

That is totally unacceptable, coaching-wise and player-wise. The way we performed tonight cannot happen. I know people say all the time that you cannot coach effort. I disagree because I am responsible.

It is admirable for Hunter to come out and say that he is responsible, but you have wonder what he was watching during the 41 games that Gentry coached the team. The same issues were evident before Gentry was fired.

Phoenix simply isn't talented enough to win right now, regardless of the coach.

Suns management fired Gentry when the team's record reached 13-28, hoping a change in leadership would be enough to spark the team and allow the organization to get a better feel of the younger players on the roster.

B/R's Sam Cooper does a good job breaking down the roster challenges that face the Suns this summer, but the difficult truth is that things are likely to get worse before they get better.

If the Suns move Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola this summer for picks, cap space and younger players, then Phoenix will struggle to match the 25 games it is likely to win this year.

In order to get better, the Suns will have to be really bad for another couple of seasons to pull the organization out of this hole. By trying to hold onto Steve Nash and the glory years, the Suns delayed the rebuilding process by at least one season, if not two.

Patience is the biggest thing that needs to be practiced by the organization and the fans, but it already sounds like Hunter is running out it after 16 games.  

For a coach trying to earn the full-time job, it is not a good sign of things to come.