When Mike D’Antoni signed with the Knicks back in 2008 the Suns brought in Terry Porter to put more emphases on defense, ultimately that did not work out and Porter was fired mid-way through the season and Alvin Gentry took over. Since Gentry took over as the Suns head coach the Suns have been quite successful, going all the way to the western conference finals in 2010 and have done a rather impressive job thus far.
However after losing the prime time big-man Amar’e Stoudemire the Suns haven’t been the same, they’re not as competitive, their as exciting, and those facials that Amar’e delivered night in and night out has been extinct. Alvin Gentry has lead the Suns to a 73-75 record(2nd season was shortened due to the lockout) since the departure of Stoudemire which is decent mark by all means given that the Suns are playing a tougher conference, and outside of Steve Nash they didn’t have another star level player.
Alvin Gentry is on the final year of his contract and he still hasn’t received a contract extension. Alvin Gentry has done a good job with all the turmoil that went down these past couple seasons but he’s had his rock the whole time, Steve Nash. The Suns have gone through a huge makeover this summer adding 7 new players and trading Steve Nash to the Lakers. The Suns are now on a mission to find their new identity, so could this mean Alvin Gentry be on coaching another team by this time next season.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Alvin Gentry has done a good job with the Suns however I do understand if the Suns decide not to bring him back. Alvin Gentry has done a fine job with some of the Suns young players in helping with their development(I.E Robin Lopez, Jared Dudley, Goran Dragic) however some of his in-game decisions are questionable. Sometimes it’s obvious that Alvin Gentry has trouble making adjustments during games that may have ultimately been the difference between winning and losing.
To start off I never understood why Channing Frye got so many minutes, I never understood why Ronnie Price played ahead of Sebastian Telfair, and I never understood why he left Josh Childress rot on the bench the past two seasons; Childress wasn’t perfect but he always came in with energy and hustle.
Ultimately, with the good job Alvin Gentry has done since he took over that he absolutely does deserve an contract extension. However in this particular scenario with the Suns right now it’s probably not the best idea. Although I’d want nothing less than to watch the Suns playing the seven seconds or less offense until I’m in an retirement home, but at this point the Suns just simply don’t have the tools to play that way. They no longer have Steve Nash to hit guys in transition with pin-point passes that only about a couple guys in the league can make, they don’t have a Shawn Marion or Jason Richardson to finish athletic dunks in transition, they don’t have an Amar’e Stoudemire that beats any defense to death rolling to the basket for his trademark dunks. Alvin Gentry will be a good coach whether he’s with us or not but it’s probably best at this point for the Suns to give someone else a shot at leading the team into an new era.