The Phoenix Suns started the NBA season at 13-28 and then decided to make a change from Alvin Gentry to Lindsey Hunter.
Hunter was a development coordinator, although he did have 17 years of playing experience.
The team is now 17-36 and obviously not headed for the playoffs, but perhaps looking at a top draft choice. Hunter is 4-8 and while he’s made some progress with his team, it’s tough to say how much luck he’ll have in the future.
Hunter has seen promise from players like Michael Beasley who has scored well in consecutive appearances against the Los Angeles Lakers with games of 27 and 18 points.
Like any new coach, Hunter is trying to find the talent he has and expose it as effectively as possible.
But Tuesday’s loss at the Los Angeles Lakers was not a good one for the Suns, albeit it’s never easy to win on the Lakers home court. But this is a struggling LA team with a struggling Kobe Bryant, who had one of his worst games ever with 1 of 8 shooting and four points.
But the Suns, because they are a worse team than the Lakers, could’t take advantage and still lost 91-85. Take away Bryant and the Lakers are still a better team than the Suns.
Hunter will probably not get a fair chance this season to demonstrate his true coaching skills. He doesn’t have the talent to be any better and hasn’t really shown the ability to get any more out of his current players than his predecessor.
But that time might come. He deserves the rest of the season to prove himself. Hunter was a scrapper a a player and can still prove those same qualities as a coach.
But the next time a team’s superstar has a poor night, it would be a good idea for Hunter and his players to take advantage.