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Mike D'Antoni COY


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The Suns' season enters an intriguing new phase Monday night when Phoenix plays host to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

 

Mike D'Antoni had just the right touch to turn the Suns into a championship contender.

 

Over the weekend, though, there was time for the franchise to relish individual accomplishments. On Sunday, Steve Nash won the NBA's Most Valuable Player award. On Monday, the Arizona Republic reported that coach Mike D'Antoni has won Coach of the Year honors.

 

D'Antoni will be presented with the award Tuesday, a league source told the newspaper.

 

D'Antoni turned the Suns into the West's most formidable team this season, a 62-game winner piloted by the steady and spectacular play of Nash. The high-scoring style of the Suns banked 33 more victories than the previous season.

 

Phoenix's 33-win leap from last season is the third best in NBA history.

 

Cotton Fitzsimmons (1989) is the only other Phoenix coach to win the award. Fitzsimmons coached the 1988-89 Suns to a 55-27 record, a 27-game improvement.

 

D'Antoni also coaxed Amare Stoudemire into playing center this season. Stoudemire, one of the league's most explosive players, averaged 26 points in the regular season for an offense that led the NBA in scoring at 110.4 points per game -- the highest of any team in a decade.

 

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

 

Good, he truly deserved this. I would have also voted for Rick Carlisle for a close 2nd IMO if you look at the body of work he did this season.

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I can't decide what's more of a joke, the fact that you have 2 guys ahead of Skiles or the fact that the NBA gave the coach of the year award to a guy coaching a team with a ton of talent.

 

D'Antoni should have had 3rd behind Carlisle and Skiles, they both did a lot to get their teams in the playoffs, and with WAY WAY less talent.

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I can't decide what's more of a joke, the fact that you have 2 guys ahead of Skiles or the fact that the NBA gave the coach of the year award to a guy coaching a team with a ton of talent.

 

D'Antoni should have had 3rd behind Carlisle and Skiles, they both did a lot to get their teams in the playoffs, and with WAY WAY less talent.

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Rick Carlisle had even less talent than Chicago and more distractions and I would say he outcoached Skiles. I might even say Nate McMillan did a better job as well. However, because D'Antoni had more talent is an argument that I have said held no weight this whole year when you look at his body of work and apparently when you doubted me this whole year and said I was talking ridiculous, I was seen as right by more unbiased people who are not Bulls homers than you.

 

Sorry that D'Antoni had more talent, but many people would not have done what he did. He had the foresight to put Amare at C and use his athleticism there despite him being undersized and then letting Marion move to PF and become an undersized PF at 6'7'' but more athletic. He also brought his European style of coaching to let the Suns play wide open. You are just a biased homer and need to get over yourself with Skiles because D'Antoni has already won the COY so stop arguing about it. Additionally, although Skiles had a great year, I truly believe he was terribly outcoached in the playoffs and did not deserve the award even before that and that is my opinion.

 

P.S. You are always making crazy claims and statements and then run away when wrong. Should we still bench Cabrera?

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BTW Craig, here is a great read and basically agrees with what I think. You should read it and drop your bias against D'Antoni.

 

What is great coaching?

 

 

When most fans think of a great coach, they picture a martinet like Bobby Knight or a control freak like Admin Brown. Obsessing over minute details on every play, telling players exactly how to get from point A to point B ? that's our idea of coaching. That's not the only style that works, but that's the one that tends to get the most credit because fans can easily see the coach's impact.

 

 

Then there's Mike D'Antoni's approach. The Phoenix Suns' head coach has his team playing a wide-open, high-scoring style. He rarely uses set plays and encourages his team to improvise on the rare occasions he calls one. Because of this, the perception among many is that D'Antoni isn't doing anything. But nothing could be further from the truth.

 

 

 

 

D'Antoni's relaxed demeanor only reinforces the notion that he is more camp counselor than coach.

Hindsight is always 20/20, so it's easy to say now that moves like shifting Amare Stoudemire to center were simple. But D'Antoni's moves were anything but obvious at the time.

 

 

Phoenix is winning largely because D'Antoni had the cojones to play Amare Stoudemire defensively at center and Shawn Marion at power forward. I can't emphasize this enough ? 98 percent of NBA coaches would have said something like, "We need more size in the middle," started Jake Voskuhl at center, and ruined the whole party before it started. Nobody would have called him out for it, either. They would have said, "Well, he's doing a good job considering he doesn't have a center."

 

 

The same thing goes for the offense. The Suns rarely run set plays because D'Antoni is smart enough to get out of the way. This is incredibly tough for pro coaches to do ? considering their life expectancy nowadays, most consider it borderline suicidal to turn the play calling over to the players. But with such a quick offense and an experienced point guard in Steve Nash, D'Antoni saw that an improvisational offense would be far more effective than any set plays he called.

 

 

The reason D'Antoni didn't go the conventional route has a lot to do with his European background. D'Antoni coached for several years in Italy, and with the more wide-open, 3-point-happy European style, he learned that he didn't need to play traditional post players all the time to have success. Moreover, if his players were good enough, teams would have to match up to his lineup rather than vice versa. That's exactly what Phoenix's opponents ended up doing this year ? many teams went to smaller lineups against the Suns rather than see Marion and Stoudemire blaze past them for dunks.

 

 

Because D'Antoni had seen this work in Europe, he was on board with all the Suns' moves that set this system up. Going after Nash was the most important, obviously, but other moves fit in as well. Rather than sign a traditional center, the Suns signed another perimeter player in Quentin Richardson, cementing the rapid-fire starting five. And when the Suns did add a center, it wasn't a 280-pound banger. It was the athletic Steven Hunter, who fit in much better with the team's run-and-react strategy.

 

 

Another thing that hurts D'Antoni's reputation is the idea that the Suns don't play defense. People see that Phoenix led the league in points allowed and assume the coach cares only about offense. But that stat is a mirage created by the Suns' fast pace. In reality the Suns' defense wasn't bad. Phoenix ranked 15th in the league in Defensive Efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions), which is more "average" than bad. It's also a big improvement on the year before, when the Suns ranked 23rd.

 

 

Additionally, he has set up the defense to be of maximum benefit to the Suns' playing style. D'Antoni has two goals in every game: Push the pace as fast as possible to take advantage of his team's quickness, and have the starters play as many minutes as possible to mask his weak bench.

 

 

The Suns' defense helps accomplish both of those goals, because Phoenix commits the fewest fouls in the league. A lot fewer, in fact ? Phoenix had 150 fewer than any other team, and was 16 percent below the league average. Because of the infrequent fouling, his starters rarely get in foul trouble and can stay on the court all game. Additionally, it creates fewer stoppages in play, so Nash et al can run the opponent ragged.

 

 

Obviously, D'Antoni had one huge benefit that he couldn't have counted on ? the rules interpretation changes reducing contact on the perimeter. With those changes, Nash became impossible to keep out of the paint and Amare Stoudemire became downright unguardable. That magnified the impact of his moves, but they would have worked well regardless of how refs were interpreting foul rules.

 

 

So while our image of "great coaching" pictures a general elaborately scripting every step in the dance, sometimes the best thing a coach can do is relinquish control and let the players boogie. D'Antoni deserves the award because he saw the potential of playing the smaller lineup when few others did. By playing small, letting the team improvise, and tailoring the defensive strategy to his maximum advantage, D'Antoni guided a roster with many flaws to the league's best record. Despite several other great coaching jobs this year (by Scott Skiles, Rick Carlisle, George Karl, et al.), there's no doubt in my mind that D'Antoni is the Coach of the Year.

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I can't decide what's more of a joke, the fact that you have 2 guys ahead of Skiles or the fact that the NBA gave the coach of the year award to a guy coaching a team with a ton of talent.

 

D'Antoni should have had 3rd behind Carlisle and Skiles, they both did a lot to get their teams in the playoffs, and with WAY WAY less talent.

767662[/snapback]

 

Rick Carlisle had even less talent than Chicago and more distractions and I would say he outcoached Skiles. I might even say Nate McMillan did a better job as well. However, because D'Antoni had more talent is an argument that I have said held no weight this whole year when you look at his body of work and apparently when you doubted me this whole year and said I was talking ridiculous, I was seen as right by more unbiased people who are not Bulls homers than you.

 

Sorry that D'Antoni had more talent, but many people would not have done what he did. He had the foresight to put Amare at C and use his athleticism there despite him being undersized and then letting Marion move to PF and become an undersized PF at 6'7'' but more athletic. He also brought his European style of coaching to let the Suns play wide open. You are just a biased homer and need to get over yourself with Skiles because D'Antoni has already won the COY so stop arguing about it. Additionally, although Skiles had a great year, I truly believe he was terribly outcoached in the playoffs and did not deserve the award even before that and that is my opinion.

 

P.S. You are always making crazy claims and statements and then run away when wrong. Should we still bench Cabrera?

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1. Not now, but 3 weeks ago Cabrera should have been benched.

 

2. I never said Carlisle didn't do a better job, you could make a case he did.

 

3. D'Antoni did a great job this year, 3rd best of any coach in the league, I never said he sucked.

 

and

 

4. Skiles wasn't outcoached at all. The Wizards were a WAY more talented team, and just decided they might want to pass the ball after game 2. The Bulls were playing Jannero Pargo and Adrian Griffin and still were right there in the series for God's sake.

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The bottom line is D''Antoni had the best record but Skiles outcoached him... D'Antoni ran a run and gun offense with no defense, no plays, not much actual coaching involved with a cast of Steve Nash (NBA MVP), Amare Stoudamire and Shawn Marion to go along with Quentin Richardson and Joe Johnson while Scott Skiles had zero all stars and played 4 rookies over 22 minutes a game... the fact he kept a bunch of rookies heads up while starting 0-9 then 4-15 is amazing.. and to go 9-4 (?) without the teams leading scorer (Curry) and Luol Deng (4th leading scorer) during the end of the playoff run is unbelievable. Skiles should have been coach of the year but congrats to D'Antoni. He has a helluva team.

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D'Antonio has 3 all-stars on his team.

 

The Bulls had 4 rookies play significant minutes, a second year playing significant minutes, and two three years playing significant minutes. If that isnt a better coaching job I dont know what is.

 

The Fan - you lose all credibility when you lash out people being biased homers halfway through your posts. Its like a 3rd grade mentality and response.

 

You started this thread because people had arguments with you in the Da Bulls! thread on this same subject.

 

If you get off to proving people wrong in a message board, you are a sad person.

 

(***The Fan Response Predictor***)

 

Passion, you are a biased homer.

 

You are disgusting looking and your tats are horrific and nasty.

 

DOOK sucks, The Bulls blow, and you are a Red Sox bandwagoner.

 

(/End)

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Craig, I'm sure you cheered when Phil "72-10" Jackson won COY in 95. What a great job he did that year with all that "non-talent" the Bulls had.

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Im pretty sure getting the best W-L record of all time warrants a COY award. Considering he managed the personalities of Dennis Rodman and the egos of Jordan and Pippen to make that team function as well as it did.

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Craig, I'm sure you cheered when Phil "72-10" Jackson won COY in 95.? What a great job he did that year with all that "non-talent" the Bulls had.

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Im pretty sure getting the best W-L record of all time warrants a COY award. Considering he managed the personalities of Dennis Rodman and the egos of Jordan and Pippen to make that team function as well as it did.

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Exactly.

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good.

 

D'Antoni deserved it.

 

 

Its not like the Bulls have a lack of talent, I wouldnt exactly say that Washington is more talented than Chicago (they arent)

 

 

Skiles did a great job, sure he had a lot of youngsters but its not like the east outside of Detroit and Miami, what with Indiana's problems, is all that talented.

 

You Bulls homers are funny.

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exactly

 

DA coached the team with the best record in the league, playing in the western conference

 

his team outperformed expectations, they play better D than anyone gives them credit for and run a style that suits the team to a T

 

it's a lot more complicated than just running and gunning

 

the reason the suns had multiple all stars this year is in large part to the sytem that DA put in place

 

i'd also put nate mcmillan and carlisle ahead of skiles

 

this isn't to degrade the job that skiles did with a young team ... it's just a step below the other 3

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He's a Skiles/Bulls hater and a moron. Don't bother wasting your breath.

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Skiles/Bulls hater or is it the possibility that someone outside of Skiles deserved the award?

 

Not everyone agrees with all Bulls fans, sorry.

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He's a Skiles hater and a moron. Don't bother wasting your breath.

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Well yeah, but I just wanted to get my point across in here before I left.

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What point did you prove?

 

He was clearly outcoached down the stretch of game 6 and that cost your team a shot at the series. He coached very well this year but to say that D'Antoni doesn't deserve the award because of who he had on his team is ridiculous.

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good.

Its not like the Bulls have a lack of talent, I wouldnt exactly say that Washington is more talented than Chicago (they arent)

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I stopped reading after that. To say our team without Deng and Curry is more talented then the Wiz is just not wise.

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D'Antonio has 3 all-stars on his team.

 

The Bulls had 4 rookies play significant minutes, a second year playing significant minutes, and two three years playing significant minutes. If that isnt a better coaching job I dont know what is.

 

The Fan - you lose all credibility when you lash out people being biased homers halfway through your posts. Its like a 3rd grade mentality and response.

 

You started this thread because people had arguments with you in the Da Bulls! thread on this same subject.

 

If you get off to proving people wrong in a message board, you are a sad person.

 

(***The Fan Response Predictor***)

 

Passion, you are a biased homer.

 

You are disgusting looking and your tats are horrific and nasty.

 

DOOK sucks, The Bulls blow, and you are a Red Sox bandwagoner.

 

(/End)

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1st off, I started this thread because we have had threads on MVP, ROY, 6MOF and now I did the COY. If you think this was posted for the Bulls sake you are paranoid and need to get over yourself.

 

All you do is bitch and make excuses about why the Bulls shouldn't win this or that because of youth and no talent, etc... You seem to ignore the Bulls also have as many as 5 players selected in the top 7 draft picks as recently as the 2001 draft, so they do have, or should have, immense talent on that roster.

 

And as usual I expected you to copout when you tried to say I lose credibility for calling someone a homer, who is a Bulls fan and toots Skiles horn repeatedly. It is pretty funny that the only ones who are calling this such an injustice are the Bulls fans and nobody else. Every major TV personality agrees with the pick, people here agree with it, and many other anylst on websites agree with it but it must be a robbery because the Bulls fans from MB.com do not agree. Besides bitching about how many all-stars he had on his team, look at the lack of depth and see how he let the players thrive by allowing them to play the game that suited them best instead of micro-coaching them. To continually belittle what he accomplised with a team that finished so poorly last year and turn them into the best team in the NBA this year, with two of the "all-stars" already on that team that was so bad is ridiculous.

 

What a joke.

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