Phoenix Suns: Why Does Alvin Gentry Continue to Get a Free Pass?

The Phoenix Suns have been horribly inconsistent. They have a modicum of NBAtalent, but they aren’t being put in position to succeed. Somebody has to be responsible for the team’s struggles and generally it’s the head coach. For some reason, Alvin Gentry continues to get a pass. Why?

Gentry’s career NBA coaching record is 329-357, including 152-131 with the Suns. Taking that into account means Gentry deserves the benefit of the doubt. However, he’s been to the playoffs just one time and that was during the 2009-10 season.

This Suns team wasn’t expected to be very good, but they were expected to be somewhat competitive. They went out and spent on free agents in an effort to put a good team on the floor and made a couple of solid signings.

Goran Dragic, Luis Scola and Shannon Brown were all brought in or extended by RobertSarver and have performed admirably.

On the flip side, Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson and Kendall Marshall were brought in and have stunk up the joint.

A heap of blame has to fall on Sarver, but it’s Gentry’s job to make them fit together. It’s Gentry’s job to coach them up and it would be silly to assume he has no input as it pertains to talent evaluation. He had to sign off on these deals at some point.

Another major issue is the impending explosion between Marcin Gortat and Gentry.Gortat was extremely frustrated with his role on the team and vented publicly about his frustrations.

Instead of handling the situation in a more gentle way, Gentry simply brushed it off and treated the comments as if they were nothing. In fact, he actually exacerbated the situation by firing a shot right at Gortat.

“Nothing’s going to change,” Gentry said in response to the comments. “We try to throw him the ball, and we’ll try to get him the ball as much as we can and….We’d love to be able to throw him the ball and have him post up and score for us. That hasn’t been one of his strengths, really.”

Gentry can’t go out and make shots or defend, but he can make sure his team is fully focused for 48 minutes of basketball. If the team isn’t responding with full effort, then something needs to change. With the ability to make trades on newly signed players, the Suns could make changes, but will they?

According to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, Sarver doesn’t plan to make a coaching change.

The Suns need to do something, whether it’s a trade or a coaching change. The culture needs to change and someone needs to be held accountable. The decision is fully up to Sarver, which doesn’t exactly make anyone feel very confident at this point.

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Tags: NBA

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