Monty Williams Named NBA's Coach of Seeding Games After Suns Finish 8-0

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2020

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams watches play during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams was named the top coach of the seeding games on Saturday after leading the Suns to a perfect 8-0 record inside the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.

The Suns entered the bubble with the slimmest of hopes of reaching the playoffs, but they nearly made it happen as they finished 10th in the Western Conference at 34-39.

Phoenix ended with the same record as the ninth-place Memphis Grizzlies, but Memphis earned a spot in the play-in series against the eighth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers by virtue of a tiebreaker.

Williams received 20 of the 21 first-place votes, as seen in the results provided by SNY's Ian Begley:

Ian Begley @IanBegley

Brooklyn’s Jacque Vaughn finished third in NBA Coach of the Seeding Games voting, the league says. Nets’ Caris LeVert was named to the All-NBA Seeding Games second team, along with ex-Knick Kristaps Porzingis. Ex-Knick Carmelo Anthony received NBA All-Seeding Games team votes: https://t.co/R0CCuNHkWv

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts received the other first-place vote and finished a distant second, while Brooklyn Nets interim head coach Jacque Vaughn was third.

Suns guard Devin Booker also received plenty of attention for his performance in Orlando. He was voted to the NBA All-Seeding Games first team and finished second to Blazers superstar Damian Lillard in the NBA Player of the Seeding Games voting.

Under Williams' guidance, Booker averaged 30.5 points, 6.0 assists and 4.9 rebounds in the eight seeding games.

The 2019-20 season was Williams' first as head coach of the Suns and his sixth as an NBA head coach overall after he previously spent five seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Williams is just 207-260 with two playoff appearances in his head coaching career, but there is now a great deal of excitement surrounding the Suns entering the 2020-21 season.

Phoenix has missed the playoffs in each of the past 10 seasons, but there is a good chance of that drought coming to an end next season if the Suns play anywhere close to how well they performed in the bubble.

Booker, Deandre Ayton, Kelly Oubre Jr., Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges make up a supremely talented core, and based on what happened in Orlando, Williams may be the perfect coach to take them to the next level.