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Peers select Monty Williams as Coach of the Year for second straight year

Michael Smith and Michael Holley discuss Joel Embiid's MVP candidacy and Kevin Durant's endorsement of the Philadelphia 76ers star for the award.

Last season, Monty Williams was named Coach of the Year by his peers — the National Basketball Coaches Association — but finished a close second to Tom Thibodeau in the official NBA Coach of the Year voting (as done by select media members).

This year, once again, his fellow coaches voted for Williams.
“I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be recognized by my peers and receive the Michael H. Goldberg Coach of the Year Award from the NBCA,” Williams said in a statement released announcing the award. “The coaches in our league sacrifice so much to serve their teams, and there are so many outstanding coaches deserving of this honor. It is incredibly humbling to again receive this recognition from this group, for whom I hold the utmost respect.”

This time around, Williams likely wins the official NBA award as well, he is considered the front runner. Willaims coached the Suns to a league-best and franchise-record 64-18, going a 32-9 record on the road, with the second-best offense and defense in the league. That is with potential distractions — the Robert Sarver investigation. Deandre Ayton’s contract situation, Chris Paul missing time with a thumb injury — that never slowed the team down.

Six other coaches received votes (the coaches vote for one coach and the vote is not public). The other coaches receiving votes are (in alphabetical order): Willie Green (New Orleans Pelicans); Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies; Tyronn Lue, Los Angeles Clippers; Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs; and Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat.

The Suns open the playoffs Sunday night at home against one of the teams in the play-in games.