There is an excitement buzzing around the Phoenix Suns that fans have not felt for several years. That is all because the Suns hired former shooting guard Jeff Hornacek earlier this week to be the new head coach. Now that team has their man in place, what can Phoenix expect from Hornacek?
“Hopefully, I can take Jerry’s toughness, Cotton’s enthusiasm and confidence-building and blend them all together and become a great coach like some of the great coaches who have been here in the past,” Hornacek said, according to AZCentral.com.
Hornacek is referring to Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan and former Suns head coach Cotton Fitzsimmons, both of whom he looks up to. The 50-year-old will be looking to create an aggressive defensive team that will create turnovers consistently and make opposing teams work to score. He wants the defense to be the jumping off point because the last place Suns could not stop anyone from scoring during the 2012-13 NBA season.
Hornacek will utilize an upbeat style of play, something that is being seen more in the Western Conference. Acquiring players that can play at a fast pace is a must because it will give Phoenix an advantage on the court they desperately need.
It will certainly be difficult for the Suns to acquire a top-notch free agent to sign with the team given their recent struggles. However, Hornacek proved as an assistant with the Utah Jazz that he is certainly capable of developing players.
“If we can get a great player to Phoenix either by trade or as a free agent, we’ll do that as quickly as possible and then build on that player,” Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said, according to AZCentral.com. “But if not, we’ll take a more deliberate approach and be patient and try to draft well and develop young players and maximize their talent. That’s one of the reasons Jeff is here — his ability to develop young players and get the most out of them.”
The good news is the Suns clearly hired the right man for the job to take an underachieving team to new heights.